UP HC to examine if lawyer in black robes exempted from coercive police action

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UP HC to examine if lawyer in black robes exempted from coercive police action

The Allahabad High Court has decided to examine whether a lawyer donning his black robes has got any privilege of being exempted from the coercive police action.

A bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery framed this legal question for examination by while adjudicating an allegation of an attack by an Etah police team on a local lawyer last month.

“Whether the Advocates Act, 1961 extends any privilege to an advocate for being not taken any coercive action by the police against him, if he is in prescribed robes?” read one of the four questions famed by the bench for an examination by it.

The bench also decided to examine another question “whether a police team has any authority to use unlawful force while arresting a person who has been accused of taking law in hands when police tried to arrest him?” The bench had last month taken the cognisance of an assault by police on Etah-based lawyer Rajendra Sharma on complaints of various bar associations, including the Bar Council of India, accusing the local police of having barged into his residence and dragged him out of his house.

Various bar bodies had shot off letters to the high court after a purported video of December 21 incident had surfaced on the social media.

Taking cognisance of the incident, the high court had ordered Etah chief judicial magistrate to probe into the incident and submit his report to the court.

The high court bench famed the question after going through the CJM’s report submitted to it in the sealed cover.

The counsel for Etah advocate Sharma had also demanded the transfer of probe by the Uttar Pradesh police into a case against Sharma lodged after he was allegedly dragged out of his house.

The court refused to accede to Sharma’s counsel request and said, “A request is made by the learned counsel appearing in the matter for change of investigating agency. We are not inclined to grant any such relief as the victim or the persons aggrieved may avail appropriate remedy in this regard before the appropriate court in appropriate proceedings.” For an examination by it, the bench also framed two other questions related to the police power in interfering in a civil matter as the police team is alleged to have acted in a case of a property dispute between advocate Sharma and his neighbour.

The bench listed the matter for next hearing on Feb 2.

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