Delhi lawyers will 'completely abstain' from work in all district courts tomorrow in protest of a fellow lawyer's killing. In a letter to its members, the New Delhi Bar Association (NDBA) said the coordination committee of all the district bar associations in the national capital has decided that they will abstain from even bail and stay hearings. Photocopy machines at the courts will also be shut.
Advocate Virender Kumar Narwal was shot dead by two bike-borne assailants, identified as Naresh and Pradeep, in Delhi's Dwarka area on Saturday. Police say Mr Narwal was killed over a 36-year-old enmity with Pradeep -- his grandfather had reportedly killed Pradeep's uncle in 1987. Mr Narwal had also allegedly put legal obstacles in some land compensation Pradeep was expecting. A professional wrestler, Pradeep found himself in financial difficulty after this. He tried to kill Mr Narwal in 2017 as well, but the lawyer escaped unhurt and his driver was injured.
Virender Kumar Narwal received police protection after the attack, but it was withdrawn during the Covid pandemic.
The brazen murder in broad daylight triggered outrage from lawyers, who condemned the killing, and called it an attack on the entire lawyer fraternity in Delhi.
The North Delhi Lawyers Association (NDLA) said incidents of threats and violent acts against advocates are rising, but no security has been assured to them even when their families are in a 'vulnerable situation'.
"NDLA have been raising voice for the Advocate Protection Act since long, and now it is need of time to bring and implement the Advocates Protection Act with immediate effect in Delhi also demand CP, Delhi police to take matter related to Advocate's security on priority (sic)," they said in a statement.
The Advocates (Protection) Bill, 2021, ensures greater protection for advocates and their functions in the discharge of professional duties. Rajasthan is the only state to have tabled it in the state Assembly.