The speed and alacrity with which Patna district judge Birendra Kumar ducked a fast one would surely have been the toast of the Australian side in the Bodyline series against England.
Around 8.05am, the judge was hearing a case, when a woman litigant threw her cellphone at him.
The attacker was identified as Rita Devi, a resident of Punpun in rural Patna.
She was apparently infuriated over the court’s decision to grant anticipatory bail to her opponent, Bablu Singh, against whom she had lodged an FIR at Punpun police station, accusing him of grabbing her land.
Rita had filed a petition in the court seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail and the case was to be heard on a different date. The case is under trial for the past seven months.
The lower courts in Bihar run in the morning shift during summer months.
One of the eyewitnesses in the case that was being heard, said: “When the district judge was hearing a separate case, Rita entered the courtroom and proceeded to the witness box and started shouting at not getting justice and her legal opponent’s anticipatory bail not being cancelled.”
“The judge mumbled something which no one could hear,” said the man before adding: “Rita, all of a sudden, lost her cool, took out a cellphone from a bag she was carrying and threw it at the judge.”
Showing amazing reflex, the judge ducked the cellphone missile, which hit the wall behind him and broke into several pieces. Everyone in the courtroom were too stunned to react.
But the judge, without batting an eyelid, immediately summoned his bodyguard and directed him to take control over the woman. After this, the court office staff called up the local police.
The police took the woman in custody and waited for the judge to complete his day’s work.
Thereafter, the bench clerk in district judge’s court, Ashok Kumar Sharma, lodged an FIR with the Pirbahore police station under Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), Section 353 (obstructing government servant in carrying out his/her work), Section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), Section 228 (intentional insult to public servant) and Section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code.
Followed by the FIR formalities, the police produced the woman in the court of judicial magistrate Anil Kumar Ram who remanded her in judicial custody till May 22.
Sharing reasons for her anger, Rita told The Telegraph that her relatives got fake papers made in order to grab her land and she was upset over the delay in the legal process. She, however, did not appear repentant for attacking the judge.