Tussle between police and advocates over lockdown violation: Madras HC directs Bar Council to take necessary actions
After observing rampant increase in the number of cases where the members of legal fraternity are violating lockdown guidelines and unnecessarily fighting with the police officials, the High Court of Madras directed Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to look into the matter and submit its report on what actions shall be taken by the State against such violators.
The order was given by the high Court after a video clip went viral. In that particular video clip one lawyer named Tanuja Kanknthula and her daughter Preeti Rajan, who claimed herself to be an advocate misbehaved with the police personnel and subsequently threatened them of taking off their uniforms. It was alleged that they misbehaved with traffic police officials after being stopped by them for violating COVID-19 lockdown guidelines.
Consequently a criminal petition was registered under Sections 269, 270, 290, 294(b), 353 and 506(i) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) read with Section 51(b) of Disaster Management Act.
The accused pleaded for anticipatory bail from the Chennai Sessions court which was strongly rejected.
The court appreciated the hard work done by the warriors like health workers as well as the uniformed service holders during this pandemic situation for the welfare of society. The court observed that the law enforcing agencies are often subjected to huge disrespect in spite of their selfless service. The court also expressed its concerns over instances where lawyers are found engaging in verbal war with police officials. It was also observed that few advocates were also involved in high-handed activity against the officials. The situation where everyone is trying to overcome from the violent effect of virus, such undisciplined behavior from the part of legal fraternity was highly condemned by the court. .
On Tuesday the bench of Justice M Dhandapani, noticed that in the present mechanism there is no provision for taking action against those individuals especially persons from legal fraternity who involve in undisciplined acts like tussle with the officials on duty. Therefore, as an immediate action the court directed the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to interfere in this matter and take an initiative of taking appropriate action against such unruly advocates.
“The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu being regulatory authority insofar as the legal profession and taking action against its members is concerned, the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu is impleaded as a party respondent in the present criminal original petition and the authorized officer of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu is directed to file appropriate Status Report before this Court before the next date of hearing”
The matter is dismissed till June 17, 2021.