THE VIDEO clips show one of them elbowing a policeman on the back, another trying to set a bike on fire, and a third rushing toward the court lock-up with a chain.
They also show the group at the centre of a parking row in Delhi’s Tiz Hazari court complex that has snowballed into an unprecedented face-off between the Capital’s lawyers and police.
The Indian Express tracked down some of the key faces on the video clips and CCTV footage that are on the police radar after the parking incident Saturday — from a 26-year-old who is contesting for a bar association post to a woman lawyer who claims to provide free legal advice to those caught violating traffic rules.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the lawyers and their family members denied their involvement in the violence and accused the police of biased investigation. On Tuesday, police registered an FIR against one of the advocates seen in a clip from outside the Saket court, where a constable on a bike was allegedly beaten up.
Video: seen elbowing policeman
Tanwar stays with his family, which runs a milk business, at Kahiya Mohalla in South Delhi’s Fatehpur Beri. He completed his BA, LLB from Chaudhary Charan Singh University in Meerut, and takes up civil and criminal cases. On Facebook, he claims to work in the Delhi High Court. The 26-year-old is also contesting for the post of member executive of the Saket court bar association. “He started working when he was studying and has been with a senior lawyer from Badarpur for the last three years. He has not returned home since Monday morning,” said Tanwar’s mother Puspha.
In a video clip, Tanwar is seen hitting a constable on a bike with his elbow, slapping him twice, and throwing a helmet at him. “He left for his office on Monday morning. We came to know about the incident after we saw the video on news channels in the afternoon. I called him and he told me that the channels were running a half-baked story. He said that he and a friend were going to drop a relative when the constable hit his friend with his bike and threatened them. After the video came out, an FIR was lodged against him under wrong sections,” claimed Tanwar’s father, Subhash Tanwar.
Video: seen at centre of parking row
CCTV footage from the court lock-up premises shows Sharma and two colleagues arguing with a constable. Police claim that the constable, Pradeep Kumar, wanted Sharma to remove his Jeep that was allegedly parked in their allotted area. The footage shows Sharma pushing the policeman, after which he is taken away by another policeman inside the lock-up premises. He is seen coming out within seconds while fixing his collar.
Opinion | Above the law
Sharma is a graduate of Delhi University’s Campus Law Centre and is a resident of Gulabi Bagh in North Delhi. He has been working with his senior, Advocate Lalit Sharma, for the last three years. He takes up civil and criminal cases, and appears on the legal panels of private firms. “I work an 18-hour shift. That day, I was in a hurry. It was a small argument with the police and I could have shifted my vehicle, but they abused me,” he said.
Insisting that he is a stickler for rules, Sharma said the police action of locking up a judicial officer was illegal. He claimed that he was taken to the lock-up when he asked the policemen to identify themselves. “We are in the court premises and you cannot break the rules. I politely wanted to follow the due process of law. The videos released by the police do not show the complete picture,” he said. Sharma has lodged an FIR against police personnel for allegedly beating and confining him.
Video: seen trying to open lock-up
Kumar takes up civil cases at Tis Hazari. He appears in more than three videos shot by policemen who had locked themselves up inside the court lock-up when it was stormed by lawyers. In one clip, he is seen running towards the lock-up with a chain. In another, he is seen trying to open the lock-up. “I snatched the chain from police. I was using it in self-defence,” said Kumar.
A graduate from Delhi University, Kumar has spent over a decade at Tis Hazari court, and claims to possess evidence of police corruption. “I have evidence that will blow the lid of police’s reputation. The police establishment is imperialist in nature, and is a continuation of the British policing history,” he said.
Video: seen trying to set a bike on fire
In footage being probed by police, Tiwari is seen trying to set a bike on fire. In another video, she is seen pushing away some lawyers who are advancing to the lock-up.
A law graduate from Purvanchal University, Tiwari has been handling criminal and civil matters at Tis Hazari for the last seven years. She also follows the Tis Hazari-virtual court, fighting cases for e-rickshaw pullers handed heavy fines under the amended Motor Vehicles Act. She claims to give free legal advice to those handed challans for violating traffic rules. “I was saving the policemen and undertrial prisoners. I was hit by policemen on my back. They have released my video and it shows me burning things. Let them do that, I know what the truth is. I will plead my case,” Tiwari said.