Allahabad HC seeks details of such cases
Speaking strongly to defenders who are involved in anti-social activities and take advantage of their robes to get away with it, the Allahabad High Court asked for details of ongoing cases against these lawyers in Lucknow district.
In an order with firm terms, the House of Judge Shamim Ahmed and Judge Rakesh Srivastava directed the Lucknow Police Commissioner to file his personal affidavit stating details of all cases that have been filed against lawyers as well as the status of the investigation and trial in the Lucknow district.
This order from the High Court Divisional Bench came against the backdrop of violent behavior by lawyers outside the campus of the Lucknow District Court which took place on October 30.
Importantly, upon hearing the case on November 30, the Allahabad High Court noted that a large number of cases are pending in which lawyers are accused and, therefore, the Court asked the district judge how many cases are pending against lawyers.
The district judge has been asked to submit his report indicating the status of the trial by the next date under seal.
In this regard, the Court also emphasized that any obstruction in the courts is construed as contempt of court, and further observed the following:
“…if a complaint of activities causing obstruction of the administration of justice is filed, while it is a statutory reference, it cannot be upheld at the district judge level. It is for the High Court to make a proper decision on this..”
During the hearing of the case, the Court was made aware of two other incidents of violence which took place in Lucknow district involving the lawyers. Taking these cases seriously, the Court sought to know the follow-up given by the police to these FIRs.
Moreover, observing that a large number of cases are pending against lawyers, but that nothing concrete is done in terms of investigation in these cases, the Court observes as follows:
“We have been informed that several militants engage in land grabbing, money laundering and other anti-social activities and take advantage of their dress to free themselves. Police appear to be apprehensive about making arrests in ongoing cases against lawyers, and either submit an indictment without access or submit a final report. If defenders are allowed to indulge in violence, maintaining peace in society would become an impossibility. Lawyers are the officers of justice and a few black sheep must not tarnish the image of the entire profession..”
The court also said that an organized group of lawyers engaged in extortion, money laundering, blackmail and creating public order problems on the court campus, which is hard to accept.
“Such a state of affairs, in which the rule of law is hijacked by a few anti-social elements, cannot continue“, further underlined the Court.
Therefore, the Court ordered the Commissioner of Police to file his personal affidavit stating details of all cases that have been filed against lawyers as well as the status of investigation and trial in Lucknow district.
The police commissioner was also asked to review the cases for which the final report was submitted and asked him to order a further investigation according to law, if it is found that there was a certain laxity. in the investigation and that all the witnesses do not appear beforehand for fear of the accused.
With that, the court released the case for a rehearing on December 13.
Case title – Piyush Shrivastava (in person) & Ors. v. State of UP Thru. Main Secy. Home Lko. & ou
Click here to download the order