Apex court takes exception to police entry in Madras High Court (Lead)February 25th, 2009 - 8:13 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday took strong exception to the entry of a police posse into the Madras High Court premises Feb 19 and the beating up of lawyers and litigants by them.
Strongly disapproving of the police entry into the high court premises, a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan asked the Tamil Nadu government to apprise it of the names of police officers and other authorities, responsible for giving permission to the police to enter the high court premises.
The bench, which also included Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal, sought the names of officers responsible for allowing police entry to the court premises within 24 hours, saying it would decide Thursday what to do with the officers responsible.
The bench also expressed surprise after being told that there was a police station right inside the high court premises and said it wanted the police station to be removed from there.
“We don’t happen to have police station inside courts. We don’t need one,” said the bench.
The bench was hearing a bunch of lawsuits on the issue involving the ongoing lawyers’ strike to empathize with the plight of Tamil in war-torn Sri Lanka, which has now spread like wild fire all over the state following a clash between police and lawyers in the Madras High Court premises Feb 19.
The clash took place after Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy was attacked by lawyers inside a courtroom of the high court last week while appearing in a personal matter there.
Swamy had lodged a criminal case against the lawyers and had sought their arrest. The clash took place as the police tried to arrest the lawyers.
During the hearing of the lawsuits Wednesday, the bench also ticked off lawyers saying that they “have no business to enter court rooms” to demonstrate their protest.
The bench said “there should be no slogan shouting inside the court premises” and added that lawyers should call off their strike.
The bench, however, observed that it was “merely five percent lawyers, who are creating mischief,” while others have behaved responsibly and professionally.
The bench also approved of a demand for a judicial probe by a former high court judge into the clash between lawyers and police, but dismantled another judicial panel framed by the state government to probe the matter.
Seeking the names of retired high court judges to head the probe panel from the state advocate bodies, the bench said that the panel would have one representative each from the government and from the advocates.