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SC asked to initiate contempt after damning video of hooligan lawyers & feeble BCI response; Kanhaiya gets no bail

Football hooligans or lawyers: Pick who’s worse?
Football hooligans or lawyers: Pick who’s worse?

The Supreme Court was urged today to initiate contempt of court proceedings against three lawyers who were caught in an India Today sting operation claiming that they had beaten JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar for three hours in police custody and would inflict more harm on him.

Drawing attention of the apex court bench, comprising Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, counsel Prashant Bhushan pointed to the India Today 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.

One of the lawyers caught on camera assaulting people outside Patiala House court, Vikram Singh Chauhan, told India Today:

We beat up that boy [Kanhaiya] for 3 hours... 3 hours... We forced him to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. Yes, he said ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai.’ We made him say it. We bashed him for three hours. He wet his pants. We beat him up so much.

Another lawyer alleged to have been involved in the court-side violence, Yashpal Singh, was recorded as saying:

We will not leave him. We’ll beat him up. I will get a petrol bomb. No matter what cases are filed against me. I will not leave him even if I’m charged with murder.

The sting operation, Prashant Bhushan said, 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.

Describing the statement by the lawyers as very serious, Prashant Bhushan 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 asked Prashant Bhushan to file a proper petition and they would consider it.

In the meantime, the court has acceded to the request by the Registrar General 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 17 February.

Mixed messages from thug lawyers & regulator

Yesterday, the PTI reported that several advocates allegedly involved in the violence, including Chauhan and Yashpal Tyagi, claimed that the a mob of JNU students had attacked them first.

They said they would sue for defamation three TV channels that described them as goons.

However, a Patiala House judge has sent a letter to the Supreme Court saying that he witnessed the one-sided attacks by lawyers on 15 February and 17 February, according to NDTV ] sources, stating that the lawyers were “beating up whosoever was not in lawyers’ uniform”.

Meanwhile, the [www.legallyindia.com/bar-bench-litigation/bci-waxes-patriotic-part-excuses-true-citizen-thug-lawyers-beating-up-jnu-unlawful-assembly Bar Council of India (BCI) told the apex court yesterday] in an affidavit that the lawyers’ conduct had been “shameful” and it would initiate an inquiry, but the BCI also proffered excuses for the lawyers’ alleged behaviour:

Some of the members were of the view that the conduct of the lawyers should be examined in the light of the background of the unfortunate incidents which took place in the [JNU] as well as Jadavpur University (West Bengal).

And because those incidents are more graver in nature and very dangerous for the country, the incidents of Patiala House Court complex might be the outcome of the reaction.

[A SENTENCE APPARENTLY REDACTED HERE IN THE COPY OF THE MINUTES WITH CORRECTING FLUID]

However, the excess committed, if any, by any Advocate cannot be overlooked.

Bail

The Delhi high court today issued notice to Delhi Police and asked it file status report on the bail plea of Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested for sedition, declining to allow bail.

Police opposed the bail plea of Kanhaiya saying the investigation was ongoing.

Justice Pratibha Rani issued notice to Delhi Police and asked it to file status report by Wednesday.

Photo by Ralf Patzold

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