The Delhi High Court Wednesday clarified that its November 3 order to not take coercive action against lawyers was with respect to two FIRs filed against them on November 2 in connection with the Tis Hazari clash, and said police and advocates must work together.
“In our democratic polity, the Bar and the Police establishment represent and constitute… the preserver and protector of the rule of law. They are but two faces of the coin of justice… It is essential, for the rule of law to prevail, that they work in close proximity and harmony,” it said.
“Any dissonance or friction between them is deleterious to peace and harmony, and destructive of public interest, in the long run,” it added.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar disposed the Centre’s applications seeking clarification and review of the order and if it would be applicable to subsequent incidents.
The Centre also prayed to pass an order, modifying the court’s order, which read, “Mr Harender Kumar Singh had ordered for firing. Firearm injuries sustained by advocates. Mr Sanjay Singh ordered for lathicharge upon advocates… so the same cannot be read and interpreted as conclusive findings against officers of the Delhi Police in question.”
The HC said they were “prima facie observations, tentative in nature, and these observations are only to be read in the context of the order dated November 3, 2019; otherwise, these facts are to be proved on the basis of evidence on record.”
The bench also said it was clarified in the order that “the inquiry will be completed in accordance with law… without being influenced by the order of this court”.
Senior advocate Mohit Mathur, who appeared for the Delhi High Court Bar Association, told the court: “If police have already lodged the FIRs on November 4, why did they move this present application?”
He further said, “The machinery is in their hands. The registration of FIR is in their hands. We cannot even go to the police station. They want peace and restoration of law and order, then we bow down to it.”
Bar associations of various courts also submitted that the protest by Delhi Police was against the law and that several provocative statements were made by them. They also prayed for a media gag, alleging that the media was creating an atmosphere against the judiciary.
The HC, however, advised that “a joint meeting of responsible advocates and police be convened, who should make a sincere effort to sort out their differences amicably”.
“In our view, (the situation) has essentially arisen owing to a communication gap. We are hopeful that if a sincere attempt is made in this direction, peace and harmony will ultimately prevail,” it said.
Maintain dignity of force: Patnaik
Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, in an appeal to the force, said: “I appealed to you yesterday that there’s a sense of sympathy amongst citizens towards your ‘concerns’. Keeping that in mind, we must maintain discipline. I am proud and happy that you understood this important feeling and went back to your duty. Through review petition, we got a justified relief in the issue, that was raised in the High Court. We will continue our efforts in this matter.”
“Maintain the dignity of police. We head one of the best and reputed police forces of the country,” he added.
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