Free Press Journal

Lawyers take out march protesting attack on journalists, JNU students


Indian students hold placards during a protest aganist the arrest of the president of Jawaharlal Nehru University's Student Union (JNU) Kanhaiya Kumar in New Delhi on February 14, 2016. Indian students,teachers and activists are protesting against the arrest of a top university student leader after he was charged with sedition, and demanding his immediate release. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN

New Delhi: A group of lawyers today took out a march to protest against the attack on journalists and JNU students and teachers by some advocates in the Patiala House Court complex and asked the Bar Council of India to take strict action against them.

The lawyers marched from the Supreme Court of India to the Bar Council of India (BCI) and submitted a representation to the BCI Chairman demanding prompt and strict action against advocates who indulged in violence and hooliganism, within two months.

They also demanded suspension of their licences till the investigations were over. “We have demanded that the Bar Council of India should take up the matter, initiate disciplinary proceedings and comprehensively investigate and impose strict punishment on the culprits on being found guilty within two months from today,” said Advocate Satya Prakash Gautam.

The lawyers also demanded formation of a committee to lay down guidelines and devise mechanisms to prevent repeat of Patiala House court-like incident in future and take all possible measures to prevent planned violence and misconduct.

“The march was organised to express our strong condemnation of what happened on February 15 and 17 where some lawyers had beaten teachers, students and journalists in the very premises of the court. This is a shameful act not only for the lawyers but for the judiciary and for the nation also.

“We demand that licences of all these lawyers should be immediately suspended and their antecedents checked till the inquiry is completed,” said advocate Ashok Agarwal. Advocate Rajeev Verma from Sonepat, who represented JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested on sedition charge said that “after reaching the court that day and seeing the environment, I had given an application to the District Judge stating there is an apprehension of danger to Kanhaiya and also the lawyers representing him.

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“The moment we came out, we were attacked. I tried to make them understand saying there is judicial process and let the court decide who is guilty and anti-national. Let us not take law into our hands but they just did not listen.”

On February 19, a group of lawyers, including those who allegedly assaulted journalists and JNU students and teachers on two occasions, had held a protest march demanding action against those “indulging” in “anti-India” activities.