Much to the persecution of the litigants,the Bar Association of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday decided to proceed on an indefinite strike. Lawyers of the High Court joined hands to protest against the registration of an FIR against the 20 lawyers involved in thrashing of a police constable on the court premises.
The FIR was registered on Monday evening against former additional advocate general (AAG),Punjab,Rupinder Singh Khosla and 19 other High Court lawyers. The remaining lawyers,who had thrashed Ramesh Chand,a head constable with the Chandigarh Police,on February 26 are yet to be identified by the police.
Terming it a conspiracy hatched by the Chandigarh Police against the lawyers community,the Bar Association labelled the FIR as concocted and false. Crying foul,the lawyers gathered in large numbers in the morning on the High Court premises and raised slogans against the Chandigarh Police.
The Bar Association decided that till the time the FIR was cancelled and appropriate action was taken against the errant police officials,they (lawyers) would abstain from work. Hundreds of litigants who had come from far-off places to attend their cases had to face harassment as the lawyers refused to enter the courtrooms to argue cases.
Surprised with the registration of an FIR against him,Khosla said,It is shocking. I am the victim in the case,I was punched by the head constable in full public gaze. I did not even touch him,yet an FIR has been registered against me. Procedure demands that the police should have at least enquired from me about the event before registering a case. This is a lopsided inquiry by the Chandigarh Police to save the skin of their police official who actually is at fault.
An SMS was sent to lawyers late in the evening asking them to assemble in full strength in Bar Hall on March 6 at 9.30 am in view of the general house decision. The lawyers decided to carry out a procession to Punjab Raj Bhawan on Wednesday to submit a memorandum on lodging of the FIR against lawyers.
Deprecating the registration of the FIR,the lawyers voiced their resentment against the introduction of new entry system which,according to them,was the root cause of the whole episode. The Bar Association also passed a resolution that the condition to carry smart cards for entering the court be abolished. An appeal was also made to the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana to convene an emergent meeting on the issue and request bar associations of Punjab,Haryana and Chandigarh to suspend court work till the FIR was cancelled.