Lawless lawyers thrash JNU student leader in court

SC panel heckled; journalist, student beaten up
Last Updated 17 February 2016, 20:16 IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday intervened twice to ensure safety of JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, but a group of lawyers once again ran riot in a Delhi court, targeting Kumar and some journalists.

At the Patiala House court complex, a group of lawyers “punched, kicked and dragged” Kumar. The student leader again bore the brunt of lawyers’ ire when he was waiting in a room before the hearing.

As the news of violence emerged, the apex court jumped into action by sending a team of five senior lawyers –Rajeev Dhavan, Kapil Sibal, Harin Rawal, A D N Rao and Dushyant Dave – to take stock of the situation and submit a report. 

The Delhi High Court Registrar was also asked to submit a report. “We took Kumar’s statement...he said he was thumped by a man wearing dark glass inside the courtroom and police did not stop him and allowed him to walk away,” said Dhavan

The attack came even as the Supreme Court told Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi earlier in the day to ensure proper and adequate security at the court. 

A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre also restricted entry at the Patiala House courtroom to five journalists, while allowing another 25 in the premises.

Kumar, on his part, told the court that he is an Indian who has “full faith” in the judiciary and the Constitution, following which Bassi suggested that they might not oppose his bail. The court later sent Kumar to 14 days judicial custody. Bassi denied that Kumar was beaten up, while medical examination inside the courtroom confirmed that he had sustained “abrasions”. 
Kumar identified two lawyers who targeted him but the attackers managed to leave without being stopped by the police.

Kumar’s friends claimed he has sustained internal injuries and needs hospitalisation. 

However, in open defiance of the apex court order, a group of lawyers assaulted and showered abuses on some journalists for a second time in three days. They also clashed with another group of lawyers.

A group of lawyers hurled abuses at the Supreme Court team, which included expletives as well as chants like “agents of Pakistan”. 

Dhavan told the apex court that the situation was horrifying and a mob tried to manhandle the panel.

“Police presence did not deter the lawyers from shouting slogans and fighting with journalists and students,” said a journalist who was inside the court premises. 

(Published 17 February 2016, 19:31 IST)

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