Now Allahabad lawyers want another judge out

May 19th, 2008 - 8:34 pm ICT by admin  

Allahabad, May 19 (IANS) The ongoing tussle between the judiciary and the lawyers after the custodial death of an advocate touched a new high Monday with the Allahabad High Court Bar Association (HCBA) demanding transfer of another judge, Justice A.P. Sahi. Bar association president V.C. Mishra told IANS that the HCBA general body meeting resolved to demand the judge’s transfer as, they said, he was instrumental in getting the police force deployed on the court campus.

The copy of the resolution would be sent to the Chief Justice of India, the Prime Minister, Union Law Minister and the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, he said.

He said the association members had a meeting with the Chief Justice of the high court, who had assured them that the police force would be withdrawn by Wednesday. The force was deployed after the lawyers had last Tuesday ransacked the office of Justice B.S. Chauhan.

The Bar had already demanded that the transfer of Justice Chauhan be expedited. The judge had sentenced lawyer S.K. Awasthi April 22 to a month’s imprisonment for accusing the former of being partial towards a section of lawyers at the cost of others.

Awasthi, 45, later died May 13 at the SRN Hospital in Allahabad while in police custody after a week of being admitted, amid allegations by his parents that he was tortured in jail and chained to the hospital bed.

His post mortem report later revealed he had seven injuries on his person, including head. Two other prisoners had told mediapersons that they had seen the jail staff and a prisoner beating the lawyer black and blue.

Meanwhile, nearly 600 lawyers courted arrest Monday to protest the lawyer’s death and the deployment of the police force on the court campus. Hundreds of lawyers, led by bar association president V.C. Mishra and secretary Veer Singh, observed ‘black day’ and courted arrest.

With the lawyers remaining adamant on their demand for recall of the police from the court campus, work in the court remained paralysed for the seventh consecutive day, inconveniencing the litigants.

The lawyers also demanded an inquiry by a retired Supreme Court judge or the Central Bureau of Investigation into the death of advocate Awasthi. They argued that the present inquiry by a district judge - as ordered by the chief justice of the high court - was not sufficient.

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