HC directed meeting of lawyers, police on their clash cancelled

The coordination committee of All District Courts Associations Thursday said the meeting, which was to be held on the directions of the Delhi High Court after the lawyers-police clash, was cancelled as senior police officers were not present.

However, police said the meeting was about the discussion on "administrative issues of the north district courts" only, but lawyers wanted to discuss the situation in all the courts in the national capital.

"Meeting with police cancelled by coordination committee as senior police officers were not in the meeting. Only the Joint Commissioner of Police, Rajesh Khurana, was there. We want seniors to be there. All were there from the coordination committee. So we walked out from there without having any discussion," said Dhir Singh Kasana, secretary of All District Courts Bar Associations.

The high court had Wednesday expressed anguish over the "dissonance and friction" prevailing between the bar and the police -- which represent and constitute "the preserver and the protector of the rule of law" and suggested a meeting between "responsible representatives" of both sides to "sort out their differences amicably, on the basis of discussion and deliberations".

Police said the lawyers wanted to discuss issues in the courts across the national capital, not the "administrative issues of the north districts courts".

The Coordination Committee of the Districts Bar Associations turned up under the impression that they will meet senior officials of the Delhi Police to discuss the situation prevailing in the city, police said.

But it was clarified to them that issues pertaining only to north district courts are to be discussed in order to resume the normal functioning at Tis Hazari, they said.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Central Range) Rajesh Khurana called a meeting Thursday evening at the Delhi Police officers' mess in Civil Lines here to discuss the administrative issues of Tis Hazari Court complex with representatives from the Bar Association, police said.

A separate meeting will be held at a higher level to suitably address the larger issues, a senior police officer said.

Kasana said the strike would continue for the fifth day on Friday but litigants will have full access to courts.

"Abstinence from work in all Delhi District Courts will continue tomorrow. In order to ensure success of the movement, all are requested to maintain the movement peacefully. Litigants be permitted to have access to the court rooms," he said.

The tension between policemen and lawyers had been building up since last Saturday when a clash over a parking dispute led to at least 20 security personnel and several advocates being injured.

Lawyers in six district courts are abstaining from work since November 4, protesting against the clash.

Thousands of police personnel protested outside the Police Headquarters on Tuesday to demand action against those involved in an attack on their colleague outside the Saket court, the unprecedented scenes of police protest leading their chief Amulya Patnaik urging them to resume duty.