The Delhi High Court on Sunday constituted a judicial committee to conduct an enquiry within six weeks into Saturday’s violence between policemen and lawyers at the Tis Hazari Court complex.
Retired Justice SP Garg will the head the committee. He will be assisted by Director (Intelligence Bureau), Director (Central Bureau of Investigation) and Director (Vigilance).
The high court directed Delhi Police commissioner to transfer two senior officers — special commissioner of police(law and order) Sanjay Singh and additional deputy commissioner of police, Harendra Kumar Singh — for ordering the firing and their alleged role in the incident.
Till late Sunday night, the two officers were yet to be transferred.
Taking suo moto cognisance of media reports, a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar urgently held court on Sunday afternoon, while issuing notices to the authorities to be present for a hearing at 3 pm. A suo moto proceeding is initiated when the court deems some issue to be important that needs urgent hearing.
The high court bench directed Delhi police commissioner Amulya Patnaik to suspend two assistant sub inspectors who allegedly dragged an advocate inside the lock-up and beat him up, and another for shooting at the lawyers. Following the order, assistant sub-inspectors Kanta Prasad and Pawan Kumar were suspended.
The bench ordered an ex-gratia payment of Rs 50,000 to Vijay Verma, Rs 25,000 to Ranjit Malik and Rs 10,000 for Pawan Kumar Dubey—the three lawyers who were injured during the police firing on Saturday.
It asked the Delhi government to provide all possible medical help to the injured lawyers.
In a packed court room full of lawyers from across the city courts and the Delhi High Court, representatives of various bar associations, coordination committee of the Delhi District court and members of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHBCA), Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) and Bar Council of India (BCI) informed the bench about the incident. Heavy security was deployed.
Senior advocate Mohit Mathur, president of the DHBCA, said senior police officials who ordered the lathi charge and firing should be arrested and suspended along with those who manhandled the advocates.
Appearing for the Delhi police commissioner and Delhi government, advocate Rahul Mehra (standing counsel criminal, Delhi government ) along with advocate Chaitanya Gosain, said four FIRs had been lodged under various sections, including attempt to murder.
They told the court that 21 police personnel and eight lawyers were injured, 14 motorcycles and 1 police gypsy van were burnt and eight prison vans vandalised. One Quick Response Vehicle van was also damaged.
Mehra said action had been taken against the erring police officials and a committee comprising high-ranking police officials comprising Special Commissioner (Intelligence), Additional Commissioner of Police (Vigilance) and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Branch) had been constituted to enquire into the issue.
Following this, the court directed the police committee to take submit its report within six weeks.
The Bar Council of India (BCI), in a statement, appealed the lawyers to maintain peace and harmony and not to abstain from work on November 5.
Earlier on Sunday morning, the high court decided to take up the issue for hearing.The court’s Registrar General Dinesh Kumar Sharma had on Saturday said chief justice D N Patel had taken a “very serious view” of the matter and that the high court was “deeply concerned about the safety of litigants and lawyers”.