Plea in HC seeks action against Delhi Police officials for protesting against clash with lawyers

Lilly Paul

New Delhi, Nov 7 (PTI) A plea was filed in the Delhi High Court Thursday seeking action against police officials who were agitating in public and sitting on 'dharna' after their November 2 clash with lawyers at the Tis Hazari Courts Complex.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which also sought action against police officials who had issued statements on social media when the matter is already sub judice, has been listed for hearing on Friday.

The petition filed by lawyer Rakesh Kumar Lakra has arrayed as parties the Union of India, the Delhi Police, its Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, Deputy Inspector General of police of Arunachal Pradesh Madhur Verma, former Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police Aslam Khan, Superintendent of Police of NIA Sanjukta Prashar and IPS officer Meghna Yadav.

The plea sought direction to the Centre to initiate departmental inquiry against the Delhi Police officials who were sitting on 'dharna' and 'making provocative slogans' and issuing inciting statements on electronic and social media.

It alleged that the police officials were protesting and agitating in public, which was in contravention of their official duties.

The plea claimed that it was a failure on the part of Delhi Police Commissioner for not taking action against Aslam Khan who has been giving statement on social media through Twitter when the matter is sub-judice in the high court.

It said it was a failure on the part of Madhur Verma, Aslam Khan, Meghna Yadav and Sanjukta Prashar in making provocative statement in public through social media and sought disciplinary action, including their dismissal, for allegedly violating provisions of the Delhi Police Act and Central Civil Services Conduct Rules.

The tension between police personnel 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.

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.

Holding up placards with slogans such as 'We are human in police uniforms', 'We are not punching bags' and 'Protectors Need Protection', the policemen and policewomen urged their seniors to stand with them to save the honour of the uniform.

The incidents drew sharp criticism from senior police officials who took to Twitter to register their discontent.

'I am sorry...we are police...we don’t exist...we don’t have families...we don’t have human rights!!!' said former Delhi Police PRO Verma, currently posted as Arunachal Pradesh's DIG.

He was joined by former Delhi DCP Khan, now posted in Goa, who posted the attack video with a caption, 'Khakhi going down to the worse'.

The IPS Association also condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with colleagues subjected to 'humiliation' and 'assault'.

'Incident involving police & lawyers unfortunate. All should take a balanced view of it based on facts in public domain. Countrywide, police stands in solidarity with those police personnel subjected to physical assault & humiliation. Condemn all attempts to break law, by anyone!,' the association tweeted from its official handle. PTI SKV HMP LLP SA