Attack on Bihar judge: HC steps in, police body seeks justice for cops
The alleged attack on a controversial judge in Bihar’s Madhubani district by two police officers on Thursday is set to snowball into a major controversy, with the Bihar Police Association (BPA) linking the incident with the attack on the policemen in the court premises.
Additional district and sessions judge (ADJ-1) in Jhanjharpur subdivisional court, Avinash Kumar, who has often hit the headlines with his unusual orders, has alleged station house officer (SHO) of Ghoghardiha police station, Gopal Krishna, and sub-inspector Abhimanyu Kumar Sharma entered his chamber on Thursday afternoon, assaulted him and even pointed a pistol at him.
Within hours of the incident, the Patna High Court took suo motu cognisance and Chief Justice Sanjay Karol set up a special division bench to hear the matter.
“As per directions of the chief justice, the present case has been listed before this bench for a special hearing after a report received from the in-charge district and sessions judge, Madhubani, in respect of physical attack and assault on ADJ-1 Avinash Kumar. He has reported that around 2 pm, the station house officer (SHO) of Ghoghardiha police station Gopal Krishna, along with Abhimanyu Kumar Sharma, sub-inspector of police, forcibly entered the chamber of Avinash Kumar-I, and started abusing him. On his protest, both police officers started misbehaving and manhandling the judge. Not only this, they also assaulted him. They also took out their service revolvers and wanted to attack the officer. However, certain court employees and advocates reached there due to which life of the officer was saved,” the bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Mohit Kumar Shah, which heard the matter, said. “Prima facie, it appears that this episode puts the independence of judiciary in jeopardy.”
The next hearing in the case has been fixed for November 29.
BPA president Mrityunjay Singh, however, said the truth must come out after thorough probe. “If policemen are responsible, they must be punished, but case should also be lodged against those who beat up policemen in the court premises. Law is the same for everyone,” he said.
He said nobody saw what happened with the judge, but the injured policemen and blood stains on their uniform was visible to everyone. “We just want justice to be done. Had the SHO carried any malice, he would not have gone there on a phone call from the judge? There should be justice with the injured SHO also and his FIR should also be lodged,” he said.
The injured police officers are currently undergoing treatment at Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital. An FIR has been lodged against both of them on the statement of the ADJ Avinash Kumar.
“How could he give oral orders to the SHO in his capacity as head of the subdivisional legal services authority (SDLSA) to come to his chamber? There was no written order to the SHO. He was asked thrice on phone to come to the court premises even though he was not under the same subdivision or under his jurisdiction,” said Mritunjay Singh, adding that the Ghoghardiha police station falling under the jurisdiction of Phulparas sub-division.
According to state police headquarters, the judge had summoned the SHO in a case related to one Usha Devi, who lodged a complaint that the Ghoghardiha police had falsely implicated her in a case. Both the police officers were thrashed mercilessly outside the chamber of ADJ and confined in a room inside the court premises.
On getting information, inspector general of police (Darbhanga range) Ajitabh Kumar, Madhubani superintendent of police Dr Satya Prakash and district magistrate Amit Kumar reached the spot around 9 pm and rescued the policemen.
Additional director general of police (headquarters) Jitendra Singh Gangwar, who physically appeared before the bench for Thursday’s hearing, confirmed that a case has been lodged against the two police officers and both were taken into custody.
Judge Avinash Kumar has been in the headlines for his unusual orders. In one such order, he granted bail to a molestation accused on the condition that he would wash clothes of the entire village for free.
While he was posted in Patna, he had served show-cause notices on the chief secretary and the state police chief for non-compliance of the order to deduct ₹2,500 from the DM and SP’s salaries in a lynching case and deposit the sum to the CM Relief Fund.
In fact, on September 24 this year, the Patna high court seized all his judicial powers of ADJ Avinash Kumar.
The judge’s FIR
In the FIR, additional district judge Aviansh Kumar claimed the SHO entered his chamber, started talking in very loud tone saying it was his style. “You instruct our boss (SP Dr Satyaprakash) to be present in the court by serving a notice. You sent me a notice as well. Today, we will show you your status,” the SHO allegedly told the judge.
The FIR says sub-inspector Abhimanyu Sharma joined the SHO, who whipped up his service revolver and pointed at the judge. “Today, I will send you away from this world because I have got orders and support from our boss... We have come to show you your status at his behest,” they allegedly told him.
According to SHO of Jhannjharpur police station, Neha Kumari, the accused policemen have been arrested and booked.
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