Court Asks For Status Report On Police-Lawyers Clash Probe By November 20

The court directed the Delhi Police Crime Branch, which is probing the cases, to preserve all relevant CCTV footage available of the incident.

Court Asks For Status Report On Police-Lawyers Clash Probe By November 20

Lawyers' Association says strike will continue in Delhi district courts.

New Delhi:

A trial court here on Monday directed the Delhi Police to file a status report on the investigation into the clash between lawyers and police at the Tis Hazari court, saying the move is aimed to "avoid miscarriage of justice".

The court further directed the Delhi Police Crime Branch, which is probing the cases, to preserve all relevant CCTV footage available of the incident.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Jitendra Singh asked the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) concerned to file the report by November 20.

"Therefore, in the interest of justice and to avoid miscarriage of justice and further in the totality of circumstances, the worthy DCP concerned is expected to file the status report qua the investigation...," the court said.

"As far as the application for preservation of CCTV footage is concerned, the investigating agency is required to preserve all the relevant CCTV footage available in and around the place of incident, as undoubtedly, they are crucial piece of evidence which can aid in verifying the allegations and counter-allegations of advocates and police," it added.

The court was hearing pleas of the Delhi Bar Association of Tis Hazari court which has sought a status report on the investigation in the case of alleged assault on a lawyer by the police inside the lockup of the court and alleged firing on other lawyers, and demanded the arrest of the police personnel who opened fire.

The plea further sought the preservation of CCTV footage of the relevant time of the incident from the relevant place.

The court, however, dismissed the prayer of the DBA seeking arrest of officers who allegedly opened fire, saying that as per the Code of Criminal Procedure, the power and prerogative to arrest the accused vests upon the investigating agency.

"As per the Code of Criminal Procedure, the power and prerogative to arrest the accused vests upon the investigating agency. However, the law requires that the discretion to arrest be exercised in just, fair and impartial manner. This court cannot direct the arrest of the accused persons, however, the conjoint reading of rule... of Delhi High Court Rules... this court no doubt has power to scrutinise the reasons which paves the way for exercising the discretion of arrest/non-arrest by the investigating agency concerned," the court said.

During the arguments, additional public prosecutor, appearing for the state, told the court that fair investigation was being carried out by the crime branch of Delhi Police and it was leaving no stone unturned for expeditious completion of the probe.

The counsel for the DBA claimed that proper and fair investigation was not taking place and statements of the witnesses or advocates present at the time of the incident were not recorded.

He further claimed that the police have failed to seize the weapon of the offence and have not even bothered to seek custodial interrogation of the accused.

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