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[Chikmaglur Police Attack On Lawyer] Karnataka High Court Sets Up 10-Member Committee To Restore Cordial Relations Between Advocates, Police

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      08 December, 2023 11:47 AM      0 Comments
Chikmaglur Police Attack On Lawyer Karnataka High Court Sets Up Member Committee To Restore Cordial Relations Between Advocates Police

The Karnataka High Court has formed a ten-member committee to restore peace between attorneys, police, and the district government in Chikmagalur following an attack on a young lawyer by certain police officers over an alleged traffic infringement recently. 

Following the incident, the Advocates Association of Bengaluru filed a representation before the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, Justice Prasanna B Varale, basis which the Court registered a suo motu case. 

The Bench which also consisted of Justice Krishna Dixit, stated that a more holistic solution apart from the CID investigation is required in the matter. The Court was told on December 5 that the matter would be investigated by the CID, Bengaluru under the supervision and monitoring of a Deputy Inspector of Police nominated for the task.

“The unfortunate incident has happened; something needs to be done in addition to what the CID is going to do in the matter. In our considered opinion which the tall members of the Bar too agreed, all stakeholders should gather at one place to discuss the matter and generate a congenial atmosphere and restore amiability between the Bar, the police and the District administration. In that direction, we constitute a High-Level Committee comprising of the following Members….”

Following are the members of the committee: 

(i) The Advocate General for the State of Karnataka, namely, Mr. Shashikiran Shetty, Bengaluru, 
(ii)  The Principal Secretary, Department of Home Government of Karnataka, Bengaluru, 
(iii)  The Director General & Inspector General of Police, Police Headquarters, Bengaluru or any of his nominee, not below the rank of Inspector General of Police or the like. 
(iv) Sl. No Judge(s) Name Date of Order Daily Order Mr.Udaya Holla, Senior Advocate & former Advocate General for the State of Karnataka, 
(v) Mr. Jayakumar S Patil, Senior Advocate, 
(vi) Mr. V Lakshminarayana, Senior Advocate, 
(vii) Mr. K N Phaneendra, Senior Advocate, 
(viii) Mr. Vivek Subba Reddy, President of Advocates’ Association-Bengaluru, 
(ix) Mr. D R Ravishankar, Senior Advocate & (x) 
(x) The President of Chikkamagaluru Bar Association. 

The Court has asked the Committee to hold a meeting on December 9, at the Advocate General’s office and suggest ways to achieve enhancement of amiability between the stakeholders of Administration of Justice and the Law & Order Agency of the State. 

“The Committee shall also submit Recommendation for preventing the recurrence of dispute/difference between these stakeholders, in the best interest of the public at large”. This, in a sealed cover, should be shared with the Court before the next date of hearing, on December 12. 

The Advocate General also assured that the investigation would be supervised and monitored by the Deputy Inspector General of Police. “This is appreciable since it boosts the level of confidence of the aggrieved reposed in the State action”, the Court said. 

The Court was also told that the agitating Members of the Bar particularly at Chikkamagaluru and around, would immediately resume their court work. 
“It hardly needs to be stated that this stand of the lawyers is consistent with the observations of the Apex Court in a catena of decisions and therefore merits a deep appreciation.”

A submission was also made to ensure that those police officers involved in the incident should be immediately be arrested in order to pacify the agitators. However, the Bench wasn’t keen. 

“However, it is a matter pertaining to the domain of Investigating Agency, as reiterated by the Apex Court of the country in Lalita Kumari Vs Government Of Uttar Pradesh and therefore restraint in this regard is warranted. Much is not necessary to specify.”
What happened in the case so far? 

On November 30, a lawyer was allegedly detained by police for allegedly failing to wear a helmet. Several police officers then beat up the lawyer. This incident led to protests by various lawyers which resulted in the suspension of six police officers. The Chikkamagaluru Town Police Station registered five FIRs in the case. 
Earlier, Senior Advocate KN Phaneendra (for the Chikkamagaluru Bar Association), Senior Advocate Vivek Subba Reddy (President, Advocates' Association - Bengaluru), Senior Advocate DR Ravishankar, and others expressed concern about a section of the Chikkamagaluru police staff going on strike and video/photographs of the strike being circulated in the public domain. The Court shared the same concern. 

“We also share the same anguish, the strict discipline being the first requirement of the Police Force; otherwise, it would be a case of fence swallowing the crop. What a section of the police staff has allegedly done is absolutely unacceptable to this Court and to the civil society, to say the least. Since learned Advocate General assures that the matter is being looked into seriously by higher-ups in the Department, we do not, at this stage of the proceeding, deliberate more on the same”.


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