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Lawyers threaten woman magistrate, 12 booked by police

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

A woman magistrate of a court here has filed a complaint, alleging that she was threatened by a group of lawyers inside her chamber recently for cancelling the bail of an accused, following which police have registered a case against 12 lawyers.

The action against the lawyers ensued after the Judicial First Class Magistrate Deepa Mohan filed a written complaint with the Chief Judicial Magistrate on the "unruly" behaviour of some lawyers and it was forwarded to police.

Police have booked 12 lawyers who threatened the magistrate.

In the FIR registered against the lawyers, including the Bar Association President and Secretary, police have charged them various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging duty, a police official said here on Friday.

In her complaint, the magistrate stated that Bar Association President K P Jayachandran, while discussing the remand of an accused, said they wanted to know whether the judge would change her order or not.

"We all have an experience of over 40 years. Do not try to intimidate us. First learn the law properly. You would been beaten up if you were not a woman. We will decide whether anyone should enter this court anymore," as per the FIR.

Jayachandran also closed the door of the magistrate's chamber, threatened her and asked her not to come out of the room while leaving, the complaint stated.

The Thiruvananthapuram Bar Association has, however, dismissed the allegations, saying the members had gone to meet the magistrate to hold talks following a member's complaint and they had not locked the room or threatened her as was being alleged.

Demanding action against the erring lawyers, the state Judicial Officers Association has approached the Kerala High court, seeking its immediate intervention and to ensure a free and fearless atmosphere for their functioning.

The Association, in its complaint before the Registrar General of the Kerala High Court, stated that the magistrate was "humiliated" by some members of the Thiruvananthapuram Bar Association, amounting to wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation and obstruction to discharge official duty.

Association president K Byju Nath, district Judge, MACT, Kalpeta, vice president V P M Suresh Baby, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Thrissur and Secretary, M Vinitha, JFCM, Ernakulam, sought the High Court's immediate intervention to "ensure an atmosphere for judicial officers to function in a free, fearless and independent manner."

"We express our protest and anguish against wrongdoers and expect appropriate action from the Honourable High Court of Kerala to safeguard the independence of the members of the Subordinate Judiciary.

The subordinate judiciary in Kerala is known to be the best in the country so far as the integrity and efficiency of the judicial officers are concerned," the representation said.

The incident tends to "lower the morale and reputation" of the members of the subordinate judiciary and the "unprecedented and violent activities" adopted by the bar adversely affects all the stakeholders, it said.

The Thiruvananthapuram Bar Association observed a district wide boycott of courts on Friday in protest against the complaint against its members.

Functioning of around 50 courts in Thiruvananthapuram district was affected following the boycott.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 29 2019. 20:00 IST
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