Contempt proceeding sought against two high court judges

May 26th, 2008 - 9:22 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) A Supreme Court advocate Monday moved the apex court seeking contempt of court proceedings against two Allahabad High Court judges for getting handcuffed a lawyer who died in judicial custody. Advocate Aeltemesh Rein sought contempt of court proceedings against Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice Arun Tandon contending that they had ordered handcuffing of late advocate Shrikant Awasthi of Allahabad in violation of laws laid down by the apex court.

In his petition, Rein said Awasthi had been sent to jail by the two judges for allegedly committing a contemptuous act against the court and nearly a fortnight later he died in judicial custody on May 13.

The two judges after ordering the lawyer’s arrest had also allegedly asked jail and police authorities to produce him before them in the court for hearing the contempt of court case against him on a day-to-day basis.

Rein said Awasthi, shocked and humiliated on being produced in court in handcuffs day after day, fell sick and refused to have food in custody.

He added that as jail and police authorities told the judges that the advocate had stopped taking food, Justice Chauhan “most arrogantly” told them: “Don’t you know how to make such person eat?”

When later told that “the advocate was still not eating anything”, Justice Chauhan retorted: “let him die,” according to Rein.

The lawyer was then admitted to an Allahabad hospital, where he was chained to the bed during his treatment.

Rein pointed out that while dealing with a case of alleged theft committed by a Tis Hazari court lawyer in Delhi, the apex court had in 1988 laid down rules and guidelines on handcuffing a person, stipulating that no person should be handcuffed unless he is a dreaded criminal indulging in violent behaviour and defying the lawful orders of police authorities.

Rein also demanded contempt of court proceedings against the jail and police officials who handcuffed Awasthi and chained him to his hospital bed.

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