Hapur Lathi-charge: UP Lawyers Boycott Work, HC Calls Against Coercive Action on Advocates

Lawyers across Uttar Pradesh on a three-day strike beginning Monday abstained from all judicial work and staged protests over the alleged police lathi-charge on advocates in Hapur district last week.

Taking the strike into consideration, a two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Pratinkar Dewakar and Justice M C Tripathi in the Allahabad High Court asked the state authorities not to take any coercive action against any advocates named in the FIR.

The bench told the lawyers that courts will function normally from Tuesday and requested the lawyers to resume work.

The decision to go on strike was taken on Sunday at a meeting of the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council, which has demanded the transfer of the Hapur District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police, lodging of FIR against policemen, withdrawal of fake cases against lawyers and compensation to lawyers injured in the Hapur lathi-charge on August 29.

The council had also demanded the inclusion of a retired Supreme Court or high court judge in the special investigation team (SIT) formed by the state government to probe the Hapur incident.

Additional Advocate General told the bench that in pursuance of the demand of lawyers, retired District Judge Hari Nath Pandey has been made chairman of the SIT.

Regarding the transfer of officials, one of the demands of the striking lawyers, the court said it cannot pass an order for transfer at this stage as the SIT report is awaited.

Police had allegedly lathi-charged lawyers on August 29 when they were protesting against the registration of a case against a woman advocate and her father around a week ago.

The case was registered following a confrontation between the woman lawyer and police when she was going to Ghaziabad in her car.

On August 30, police had registered an FIR against 17 lawyers and over 250 unidentified people at City police station in Hapur over a protest by some advocates at the tehsil crossing last week.

During Monday’s strike, lawyers burnt an effigy of the chief secretary in front of the Allahabad High Court, while district court advocates staged a peaceful protest and submitted a memorandum to the district administration, High Court advocate Rajiv Singh who participated in the strike said.

“On the call of the Bar Council we are on strike,” General Secretary, Lucknow Bar Association, Kuldeep Narain Mishra told PTI.

According to reports reaching here from Varanasi, Muzaffarnagar, Ballia, Jalaun, Bahraich, and Kannauj, lawyers abstained from all judicial work and staged protests, raising slogans against the government.

In Varanasi, advocates took out a procession from the court premises to the Circuit House demanding action against the responsible officials of the police and administration for the lathi charge and submitted a memorandum to the District Magistrate.

In Bahraich, advocates staged a protest on the court premises raising slogans against the government. A group of advocates led by Ram Chhabile Shukla, former president of Bar Association, Bahraich, submitted a memorandum listing the demands of the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council addressed to the chief minister through the city magistrate.

In Muzaffarnagar, the president of district bar association Anil Jindal said that the lawyers staged a protest and submitted a memorandum.

In Ballia,  lawyers of criminal, civil Bar and collectorate Bar demonstrated at the district magistrate’s office. They also demanded that the Advocate Protection Act should be implemented alleging that the officers of Yogi Adityanath-led state government had become unruly and lawyers were being harassed across the state.

In Sonbhadra, advocates staged a sit-in on the district court premises. Sonbhadra Bar Association president Narendra Kumar Pathak demanded the implementation of the Advocates Protection Act so that their safety is guaranteed.

In Jalaun, Girish Kumar Srivastava, president of the district advocates’ association, said all the advocates of the district would not do any judicial work till September 6 to protest against the Hapur incident. He said they will burn the effigy of the state’s chief secretary and DGP on September 5 and stage a dharna on September 6.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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