SC asks Delhi Police chief to probe assault on woman advocate

New Delhi, June 4 (IANS): The Supreme Court Wednesday took exception to the lack of promptness with which the Delhi Police chief treated its earlier order as it asked him to inquire into the alleged manhandling of an apex court lawyer by station house officer when she went to serve a court order.

"You have not done a miniscule of what we had asked you," said a bench of Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice C. Nagappan as it expressed its displeasure at the lack of prompt action by the police commissioner in acting on its earlier order on an inquiry.

The woman lawyer was assaulted April 4 when she went to Lajpat Nagar police station in south Delhi to serve the order by a Saket court restraining the eviction of vegetable vendors.

"We are not taking sides. It is important not to take sides. You are commissioner of police. You are expected to ensure that everything is fair. You are incharge, we repose our complete faith and trust in you. Ensure everything is done in a fair way," the court said.

As counsel for Delhi Police sought to explain what has been done at the level of police commissioner, the court said: "Don't brush aside the things."

Justice Khehar said that when they had ordered an inquiry, then "why all the witnesses of the incident were summoned to police station".

The court said that it is the duty of the police commissioner to "see, monitor and make sure whatever and whoever is right comes out".

Senior counsel and amicus curiae Vijay Hansaria told the court that despite its oral order during the last hearing, the Lajpat Nagar police interfered with the witnesses.

As Hansaria said that court should put out an order restraining police from influencing the witnesses, Justice Khehar said by this the "commissioner of police will be put in a predicament".

"We don't want to put him in a predicament."

Meanwhile police told the court that entire matter has been handed over to crime branch and instructions have been issued that witnesses can only be examined at their residences or places convenient to them.

The court was told that instructions have been issued that police personnel posted at Lajpat Nagar police station will neither contact the lawyer nor go to her residence.

The court was also told that she has also been provided with security cover.


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Title: SC asks Delhi Police chief to probe assault on woman advocate

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