The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday directed the Punjab police to submit the status report by May 22 on the two first information reports (FIRs) registered at the civil lines police station, Amritsar, on May 9 and 10, including the one pertaining to the attack on advocate Vineet Mahajan.
Punjab local bodies and medical education minister Anil Joshi. HT photo
The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Arun Palli, while ordering grant of security to advocates Vineet Mahajan and Sandeep Gorsi, also issued notices to Punjab local bodies and medical education minister Anil Joshi and the Punjab police officers made respondents in the petition for filing their replies.
The directions came during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by the Punjab and Haryana high court Bar association seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the attack on Mahajan in Amritsar on May 10 and into the registration of an allegedly false FIR against another advocate, Sandeep Gorsi on May 9.
Bar association president Anmol Rattan Sidhu prayed to the court for providing protection to Gorsi and Mahajan, "who are being constantly attacked by certain goonda elements at the instance of sitting cabinet minister Anil Joshi in order to eliminate them." Sidhu added, "Since these advocates now don't have faith on the state police, there is a need for an inquiry from an independent agency."
However, speaking for the bench, the chief justice said, "All over the country, so many such incidents occur. A CBI inquiry is not possible in every case. There may be apprehension about the local police and we may ask the DGP (director general of police) to look into the matter monitored by the court."
'Stopping of judicial work unjustified'
The chief justice said, "We will look into the matter. Let the report come. But stopping of judicial work is not justified. Advocates must come back to work. Otherwise, it would hamper others (litigants) seeking assistance from the court."
On this, Sidhu assured the court that on behalf of the Bar association, he would try to convince the advocates of Amritsar district courts to resume work.
The petition alleged that since advocates Mahajan and Gorsi had exposed fraud and forgery committed by cabinet minister Anil Joshi in the 'dual votes' case, Joshi was time and again attacking them.
It was submitted that even after issuance of non-bailable warrants against him in certain cases, Joshi had got the "attack caused on Mahajan on May 10 in broad daylight with kirpans and deadly weapons, resulting in serious injuries." It was also submitted that on May 9, the local police had falsely registered an FIR against Gorsi for attempt to murder.