New Delhi: As judicial work was hit today in the six district courts here due to a lawyers’ strike, the Supreme Court restrained the Delhi’s Tis Hazari Court Bar Association from going on strike or boycotting any judge of the court. The striking lawyers were protesting against alleged false implication of its office bearers in an assault case lodged by a woman lawyer.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud directed the Police Commissioner to provide adequate security, preferably by a woman police officer, to the victim lawyer who appeared in person, along with senior advocate Indira Jaising, that she was scared to record her statements in the court.
The bench said “her apprehension is not in the realm of illusion, but real” and directed that she should be given police security so that her statement can be recorded in the court. Later, bar association leaders said they had a meeting with Acting Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Gita Mittal after the coordination committee of bar associations of all Delhi district courts decided to suspend their agitation and the lawyers will resume work from tomorrow.
The apex court, in order to avoid any unwarranted situation at the Tis Hazari Court, directed that the statement under section 164 of the CrPC of the woman lawyer should be recorded before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) at Patiala House Court.
The apex court issued notice to President of the Bar association and impleaded its secretary as party in the case. The woman lawyer told the court that an incident had taken place on May 4 in which she was manhandled and humiliated by members of bar. She brought the incident to the notice of Additional Sessions Judge Prashant Kumar, who directed registration of an FIR.
She said that after the court directed for lodging an FIR, the Bar Association has allegedly boycotted the judge and gone on strike today. The woman lawyer along with Jaising mentioned the matter before the bench after the court assembled after lunch, which took up of the case later in the day.
After the matter was taken up at 3.45pm, Jaising told the court that there is serious issue of safety and security of women advocates practising in trial court across the country. She said the court should direct the implementation of Vishaka guidelines in trial courts, while Jaising said the members of Tis Hazari Court Bar Association were on strike and boycotting the judge for an indefinite period for ordering registration of FIR.
The bench posted the matter for further hearing on May 11. Yesterday, the Coordination Committee of All-District Court Bar Associations of Delhi had called for a strike at the Tis Hazari Courts on May 8 and at all district courts in Patiala House, Tis Hazari, Saket, Rohini, Karkardooma and Dwarka.