Lawyers threaten a complainant inside courtroom, Judge asks Bar Council to take action against them

A group of lawyers allegedly threatened the NGO representative for filing a complaint against a relative of one of the lawyers.

New Delhi | Published: March 9, 2014 3:17:53 am

Taking a serious view of the behaviour of a group of lawyers who threatened a complainant in a case in the presence of the judge, a city court has asked the Bar Council of Delhi to look into the legal provisions to deal with such conduct.

The issues pertains to a case regarding the improper transportation of cattle. An FIR had been filed against several persons for allegedly transporting cattle in a “cruel” manner. The cattle had been impounded by police. The accused filed a plea seeking release of the cattle, while the NGO, through its representative, opposed the plea.

A group of lawyers allegedly threatened the NGO representative for filing a complaint against a relative of one of the lawyers.

The lawyer in question has previously been an office-bearer of a Bar Association in another court and is also reportedly contesting elections this year.

According to the complaint filed before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Savita Rao, the lawyers threatened the representative outside the court, asking him to withdraw the complaint and the plea opposing the release of the cattle.

During a hearing on February 28, the lawyer also threatened the complainant inside the courtroom, following which the court ordered police to provide protection to the NGO representative.

The court also expressed its helplessness in dealing with the issue since disciplinary action against advocates can only be taken by the Bar Council.

“It has been noted that in a number of cases… lawyers in huge number appear before the court to seek leniency where, according to them, matter relates to some lawyer or his relative and for the said reason, either the courts are tried to be over-awed or those lawyers try to go to any extent to secure favourable orders as is also reflected in the instant matter,” ASJ Rao said.

The court sent a copy of the order to the Bar Council of Delhi, seeking their response in the matter to “inform the court with respect to existence of any such rule regarding the conduct of advocates in these circumstances”.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the NGO representative failed to appear before the court, and filed a complaint alleging that “higher police officers” had refused to provide him police protection and he had not been able to leave his residence for fear of being attacked.

The case came up for hearing again on Friday, with the NGO representative entering the court under police protection to file written submissions in the case.

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