Initiate contempt of court against three lawyers, SC urged

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday was urged to initiate contempt of court proceedings against three lawyers who were caught in a sting operation claiming that they had in beaten JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar for three hours in police custody and would inflict more harm on him.

Drawing attention of the bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, counsel Prashant Bhushan pointed to the sting operation showing three lawyers saying that they had beaten Kanhaiya Kumar for three hours in police custody and next time they will throw petrol bomb on him.

He claimed a disturbing scenario of alleged complicity between these lawyers and police.

“This is a matter where there is more than ample evidence to show police has been complacent,” he said, adding the sting operation shows lawyers saying that they would go to jail and get lodged in a cell where Kanhaiya Kumar is being kept and inflict more harm on him.

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Describing the statement by the lawyers as very serious, he urged the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against them as what they are saying is trampling upon the rule of justice.

While saying that what the lawyers were saying in the sting operation could be a case of bragging, Justice Chelameswar told Prashant Bhushan that “what you have said is orally” and asked him to file a “proper application” and they would consider it.

Senior counsel Indira Jaisinh, saying that even it is assumed “that they are falsely bragging about doing the worst to Kanhaiya Kumar”, told the court that the “point is there is a genuine threat perception and apprehension (about safety of Kanhaiya Kumar) is genuine”.

“How could these lawtyers access him (Kanhaiya Kumar) for three hours (while he was) in police custody,” she asked.

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In the meantime, the court has acceded to the request by the registrar general of the Delhi High Court to mask his face in the video recording done by senior counsel Harin Rawal of the incident at Patiala House court complex on February 17 and within the court room.

Noting the request by the registrar general and to his “claim of privacy”, the court directed its registry to take “such appropriate technical measure masking the identity” while supplying the copies of the visual data to the parties.

Further noting that the visuals at the Patiala House Court Complex were recorded by senior counsel Harin Rawal on his I-Phone and the same may be needed in the future course of the proceedings, the court said that the court registry would compared the incident recorded on the I-phone with the one transferred on the pen drive submitted to the court by Rawal.

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After authenticating the same, the court said that registry would “make copies of the pen drive and preserve the original pen drive in a sealed cover after taking such appropriate necessary technical precautions to protect the content of the pen drive”.

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