Delhi High Court orders judicial inquiry into Tis Hazari court clash
The Delhi High Court on Sunday ordered judicial inquiry by one of its retired judges into the clash between lawyers and police at Tis Hazari court complex in New Delhi.
A bench of Chief Justice D. N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar, which sat on Sunday after taking suo motu cognisance of media reports about the incident, said that former high court judge Justice (retd) S. P. Garg would hold a judicial inquiry into the matter.
The bench directed the Delhi police commissioner to transfer special commissioner Sanjay Singh and additional DCP Harinder Singh during the pendency of the investigation.
It also made clear that no coercive action would be taken against any lawyer.
Lawyers and police had clashed at Tis Hazari Court complex on Saturday afternoon during which at least 20 police personnel and several lawyers were injured while 17 vehicles were vandalised, according to officials and eyewitnesses.
During the hearing, Delhi police told the bench that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to look into the clash.
Advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi police, told the bench that one assistant sub inspector has been suspended and another transferred for their alleged involvement in the clash.
He said that 21 police officials and eight advocates were injured in the clash.
The special investigation team of the crime branch will probe the matter, he said, adding that four FIRs have been lodged in connection with the incident under relevant sections, including charges of attempt to murder.
Two station house officers (SHOs) and an additional commissioner were among the 20 personnel injured, police said and claimed that eight lawyers were hurt in the incident.
Lawyers, however, said more of their colleagues were injured than the number claimed by police. They also claimed that two advocates were injured in police firing, but police said they fired in the air.
Registrar general (RG) Dinesh Kumar Sharma said a closed-door meeting was held on Sunday morning by the Chief Justice and the senior most judges of the high court.
The meeting was also attended by senior police officers and additional chief secretary of the Delhi government, he said.
After the meeting, the court decided to hold a hearing at 1 pm, he said.
During the 1 pm hearing, the high court issued notices and sought responses of the Centre, the Delhi police commissioner and the chief secretary on the clash between lawyers and police.
It also asked the police officers, who were allegedly involved in the clashes, to be present in the court at 3 pm.
Separately, the Bar Council of India has written a letter to the high court seeking a direction to the Delhi lieutenant governor and other authorities to lodge an FIR under Section 307 (attempt to murder) and other relevant provisions of the Arms Act against the police officials.
The letter also sought immediate arrest of responsible police officials and initiation of a judicial enquiry by a retired Supreme Court or high court judge.