Howrah court violence: HC directs DGP, home secretary to file affidavits

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Published: April 29, 2019 8:57:35 PM

Hearing a suo motu writ petition on the violence, a division bench headed by Chief Justice T B N Radhakrishnan observed that unauthorised intrusion into court premises and the activities would stand to breach the Constitution and the laws.

Howrah court violence, HC, DGP, home secretary, affidavits, news

The Calcutta High Court Monday directed the West Bengal DGP, home secretary, police commissioner of Howrah and other officials to file separate personal affidavits on violence at Howrah court premises last week which left several persons injured and led to ceasework by lawyers in the state.  Hearing a suo motu writ petition on the violence, a division bench headed by Chief Justice T B N Radhakrishnan observed that unauthorised intrusion into court premises and the activities would stand to breach the Constitution and the laws.

Lawyers at the Howrah district court and employees of the Howrah Municipal Corporation, which is located opposite to the court, clashed on April 24 over vehicle parking. The lawyers alleged police highhandedness in controlling the situation. Several persons, including lawyers, were injured in the incident. The bench said the executive agency of a state has the constitutional duty to provide infrastructure for courts and protect those institutions and premises dedicated for activities in connection with the courts.

The bench, also comprising Justice Arijit Banerjee, said the courts are constitutional forts of power and authority from where judicial power is exercised on behalf of the sovereign. Apart from the DGP, the home secretary and the police commissioner, the bench also directed the commissioner of Howrah Municipal Corporation and station house officer of Howrah to file separate personal affidavits on the untoward incidents of April 24.

The court directed that the affidavits be filed by May 1 when the matter would be taken up for hearing again. The bench also directed that  the high court, on the administrative side, will carry out the exercises to ensure smooth judicial functioning of courts at Howrah.

The Chief Justice also requested the lawyers, who are on ceasework, to attend courts. Condemning the alleged attack on lawyers, the Bar Council of West Bengal had on Thursday urged the bar associations of all courts in the state to observe ceasework from Friday to Monday.

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