Odisha police arrest 17 lawyers for courtroom vandalism, a day after SC takes note - Hindustan Times
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Odisha police arrest 17 lawyers for courtroom vandalism, a day after SC takes note

ByDebabrata Mohanty
Dec 13, 2022 07:32 PM IST

Sambalpur superintendent of police B Gangadhar said 17 lawyers were arrested for vandalising the chamber of district judge Manas Barik during Monday’s protest demanding the setting up of a separate bench of the Orissa high court

A day after the Bar Council of India (BCI) suspended 29 lawyers of Sambalpur district after they uttered unparliamentary words against Supreme Court judges, the Odisha police arrested 17 of them for allegedly vandalising the chamber of the Sambalpur district judge on Monday.

Representational image.
Representational image.

Sambalpur superintendent of police B Gangadhar said 17 lawyers were arrested for vandalising the chamber of district judge Manas Barik during Monday’s protest demanding the setting up of a separate bench of the Orissa high court.

“Three cases were filed at Town Police station in connection with yesterday’s incident and 17 lawyers were arrested after examining footage from the CCTV cameras. More CCTV and video footage are being analysed for further arrests,” the SP said, adding that section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed around the court to maintain law and order.

The arrests came after the Supreme Court upbraided the Odisha government over the alleged failure of state police in taking action against the protesting lawyers.

“Lawyers have lost their privilege. The police are expected to take action. Why are the police making polite conversations with them? Why should they not be taken into custody? If the police are not able to control it, we will send the paramilitary. Please tell us whether you are able to handle it or not. Tell us. We want action by the day after tomorrow,” a SC bench of judges Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka said on Monday.

Also Read:Will send central forces if Odisha police can’t stop lawyers’ stir: SC

Following the SC observation, the BCI suspended the licences of 29 agitating lawyers, including Sambalpur district bar association president Sureswar Mishra, taking into account the “act of vandalism and unrest” by the protesting lawyers of the district bar association.

However, Pradeep Bohidar, chairman of the action committee of the district bar association, said the lawyers’ protest will continue.

“The Odisha Bar Council has issued our licences, not the Bar Council of India. Yesterday, satyagrah was going on peacefully. The vandalism was the outcome of police excesses. The police was secretly taking the district judge and other judges to the court premises,” Bohidar said.

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