New Delhi, Nov 5 : Faced with bad press after another video emerged of a lawyer slapping a policeman outside the Saket Court, the Bar Council of India (BCI) on Tuesday recalled its Coordination Committee resolution that asked lawyers to abstain from work. The BCI has appealed advocates to resume work from Tuesday.
In a letter to the lawyers, the Council said, “…the resolution of Coordination Committee (that police officials or personnel should be arrested first) is now meaningless and has no legal basis. We are to think this important aspect from the legal point of view, so that we don’t become a laughing stock before the society.”
The letter comes as a reprieve to thousands of litigants across Delhi, who have suffered since Monday as the courts in the city remain shut and lawyers abstain from work after the Delhi High Court ordered a judicial inquiry into the violence between lawyers and policemen at the Tis Hazari court on Saturday.
A minor argument between a lawyer and some policemen over parking at the Tis Hazari court complex had flared up leading to violence and arson, in which a lawyer received a bullet injury. “Twenty cops, including one Additional DCP and two SHOs, sustained injuries. Eight advocates were also hurt. Twelve motorcycles, one police QRT Gypsy and eight jail vans were damaged,” the police claimed.
But on Tuesday after hundreds of policemen gheraoed the Delhi Police headquarters demanding action against lawyers, many of whom have been found indulging in violence, public mood suddenly seemed turning against the legal fraternity.
In a climbdown soon after, the Council said: “Hooliganism and violence has no place in the Bar. The leaders will have to stop it immediately” and urged the lawyers to join back work.
It said CCTV footage and videos were being widely circulated with a motive to “malign” the image of lawyers and “implicate some lawyers”, and expressed apprehension that such material may be provided as evidence against the lawyers to the “Investigation Committee, the CBI, the Vigilance, the Intelligence Bureau and the High Court”.