New Delhi: The BCI Friday said it has "put on hold" the lawyers' strike in district courts here for 10 days but threatened a nationwide stir if no action is taken against the police officers who allegedly fired at the advocates during last week's clash between them.
"If the concerned police officer/personnel (who fired at on the advocate of Tis Hazari court) is not arrested within a period of 10 days, the issue will be taken on all India basis," Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said in a statement.
"We want the police officers to be arrested as soon as possible. Till then the strike has been put on hold. Lawyers will join work from Monday," he said.
Lawyers at all the six district courts in the national capital boycotted work for the 5th consecutive day on Friday with advocates and personnel staff of the bar associations doing the security checks of the people entering the premises.
Dhir Singh Kasana, secretary of coordination committee of All District Courts Bar Associations, said the resolution to put the stir on hold was taken at a meeting between the BCI and all the members of district bar associations wherein Mishra assured them that the police officers would be arrested.
He further said that a higher committee has been formed comprising the chairman and secretary of BCI, chairman and co-chairman of Bar Council of Delhi and the presidents and secretaries of coordination committee of all the six district courts' bar associations to monitor the matter continuously.
"The committee will look into the matter from now and hold meetings from time to time to decide the future course of action," he said.
Bar associations of district courts said the situation was calm in all these courts -- Tis Hazari, Saket, Patiala House, Rohini, Karkardooma and Dwarka -- although lawyers are continuing to observe complete strike in the national capital following clashes with the police.
Litigants were allowed to have full access to courtrooms and proxy counsels assisted them in the matters, the associations said.
"Normalcy has returned in all the courts. Lawyers are observing full strike though. We have deployed two lawyers and two members of the personal staff of the Bar to look after the security of the court's premises," said advocate Jaiveer Singh Chauhan, Secretary of Delhi Bar Association of Tis Hazari court, where the clash first broke out on November 2.
Two days later, an on-duty policeman was allegedly thrashed by advocates outside Saket Court.
On November 6, the lawyers had closed the main gates at Patiala House and Saket district courts and did not let litigants access the court premises, citing security reasons.
The same day, during the protest at Rohini district court, one lawyer had taken off his clothes and poured kerosene on his body threatening to immolate himself, while another advocate climbed atop a building in the premises.
Chauhan further said that bar members have not been called yet for a meeting with the former judge of the Delhi High Court, appointed to hold a judicial inquiry into the clash between lawyers and police at Tis Hazari court on November 2.
"Justice (Retd) S P Garg has not called the Bar members yet for a meeting. We will cooperate fully in his enquiry," he said. Advocate R K Wadhwa, chairman of New Delhi Bar Association, said few police personnel were present inside Patiala House court's premises,.
"It's complete strike at Patiala House court. We have not stopped the litigants from entering the courts from first day of the boycott. Few police personnel are also there inside the court's premises," he said.
The tension between police personnel and lawyers had been building up since last Saturday when a clash over a parking dispute led to at least 20 security personnel and several advocates being injured. Lawyers in six district courts are abstaining from work since November 4, protesting against the clash.
In unprecedented protests by Delhi police, thousands of its personnel on Tuesday laid siege outside the Police Headquarters for 11 hours and staged a virtual revolt sparked by two attacks on their colleagues before calling off their stir following multiple appeals including from their chief.