JNU row: SC law panel says police failed to do their duty

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 18, 2016 01:17 IST
A policeman tries to save a JNU student who was being beaten up during a clash between the advocates and the students outside the Patiala House Courts in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)

A six member lawyers panel — assigned by the Supreme Court to assess the situation at Patiala House Court complex — went through a harrowing time during their less than 30 minute visit on Wednesday.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Dhawan, Dushyant Dave, Harin Rawal, Ajit Sinha and ADN Rao complained that they were not only abused in the filthiest language, but were also described as agents of Pakistan. “We were called Pakistan ke Dalle,” Dhawan told a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and AM Sapre that was visibly upset with the incident.

He said the collective view of the panel was that “the police did not do their job.”

In the morning itself, the court had given detailed instructions to restrict the entry of lawyers, media persons and Kumar’s associate into the courtroom. It had hoped that the atmosphere in the court complex would be congenial and serene. Delhi Police commissioner was specifically tasked with taking measures to avoid any law and order problem on Wednesday.

But, at about 2:30pm the Supreme Court bench was forced to put its pending work for the day on hold when senior advocate Kapil Sibal rushed before it and informed it about the mayhem at Patiala courts. He said the advocates had attacked Kanhaiya when he was being produced before metropolitan magistrate Lovleen Kumar.

The judges immediately summoned Sinha, the Delhi Police counsel, who personally spoke with the commissioner. “He has taken personal responsibility to ensure that Kanhaiya is safe,” Sinha told the court, at which the judges unequivocally told him: “The commissioner is responsible for his safety and must see to it that he and those accompanying him leave the court premises without being hurt.” At one point the bench suggested handing over the security of the court to the Central Reserve Police Force.

The bench later formed a panel of the senior counsels and asked them to file a report by Thursday.

The case will again be heard on February 22.

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