Patiala House violence: Kamini Jaiswal moves SC for SIT probe

New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) Senior advocate Kamini Jaiswal moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe violence by a section of lawyers in the Patiala House complex when JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was produced in court last week.

Several journalists, as also Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been arrested on sedition charge, were assaulted ion the court premises on February 15 and 17.

Jaiswal also sought initiation of suo motu contempt against three lawyers – Vikram Singh Chauhan, Yashpal Singh and Om Sharma – for allegedly interfering in the administration of justice and wilfully violating the February 17 order of the apex court.

Pointing to the “complete inaction of Delhi Police” in the face of violence by a section of lawyers and others, the PIL referred to the February 18 report by the six-member lawyers’ panel sent by the apex court on February 17 to take stock of the situation in the Patiala House court complex, the February 19 report by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), sting operation by a news channel and an eyewitness account of violence by a judicial officer.

The PIL, filed by activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan, said the three advocates were found to be leading an attack in two incidents as reported by the media and allegedly admitted by them in a sting operation.

They have not only been identified but they also admitted to their involvement in the incidents of violence but still the police did not make any attempt to arrest them, the petitioner contended.

The petition quoted a first-hand account by a journalist who talked about the blatant mockery of the judicial process and quoted the assailants as saying “Ab le aao SC ko apne saath, kahan gaya SC iss waqt (Now bring the Supreme Court with you; where is the Supreme Court right now).”

“The atmosphere, to say the least, not being at all congenial, was surcharged, threatening, and frightening and police had completely failed in its duty to contain the atmosphere and crowd”, the petitioner said quoting the February 18 report by the lawyers panel submitted to the apex court.

The petition says despite the Delhi High Court registrar general asking Deputy Commissioner of Police Jatin Narwal to apprehend an unauthorised person on the court premises, an accused was allowed to escape.

The PIL also refers to the NHRC report of February 19 saying that the attack in the Patiala House court complex on February 17 on Kanhaiya Kumar “appears to be organised and pre-planned”. The rights body had said that the attack on Kanhaiya by some people dressed as advocates was a “major security lapse”.

Referring to the sting operation by a TV channel, the PIL pointed out that the lawyers involved in the attacks admitted that these were “not spontaneous but in fact were pre-planned”.

They said that they would repeat the same acts of violence when Kanhaiya is produced in the court again.

It also pointed out that lawyer Yashpal Singh brazenly said that he would get a petrol bomb next time and would not leave Kanhaiya even if he was charged with murder.

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