SC restrains Tis Hazari bar association from strike

New Delhi


The Supreme Court on Wednesday restrained the Tis Hazari Court Bar Association from going on strike or boycotting a judge who ordered filing of an FIR in a case where a woman lawyer was allegedly manhandled by members of the bar.

The order came on the lawyer's plea who approached the top court for security.

The Coordination Committee of All-District Court Bar Associations of Delhi had called for a strike at the Tis Hazari Court on Tuesday and at all the district courts in Delhi on Wednesday.

The strike call and the subsequent boycott of the court of Additional Sessions Judge Prashant Kumar came after the woman advocate alleged assault and the judge directed the registration of an FIR against office bearers of the bar association.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud directed the Police Commissioner to provide adequate security to the lawyer who said she was scared to record her statements in the court.

The lawyer, Afshan Pracha, depicts a "sad and sorrowful scenario" and the "security of practising women at various courts is affected", the bench said.

Ordering protection to Pracha, the court said: "The petitioner shall be given adequate police protection by the Police Commissioner so that her statement can be recorded under Section 164 of CrPC.

"The statement shall be recorded by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at Patiala House Court. The Bar Association of Tis Hazari Court is restrained from going on strike or participating in any kind of boycott of any court in Tis Hazari or any other court."

The security cover should include women police officers of appropriate rank, said the bench.

During the hearing, Pracha appearing before the court along with senior advocate Indira Jaising contended that an incident took place on May 4 in which she was manhandled and humiliated by members of the bar.

Jaising told the bench that Pracha brought the incident to the notice of judge Prashant Kumar who directed the filing of the FIR after which lawyers boycotted his court.

She also asked that the court should direct the implementation of Vishaka guidelines in trial courts.

The top court issued notice to the President of the Bar association and impleaded its Secretary as party in the case and posted the matter for further hearing on May 11.- IANS