Manhandling of women lawyer by cops, SC to hear plea on Wednesday

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear tomorrow a plea seeking transfer of probe in the case of alleged assault on a woman lawyer from Delhi police to CBI on the ground that witnesses were being "harassed" by cops and asked the police chief to file an action taken report.

PTI| Last Updated: May 27, 2014, 18:06 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear tomorrow a plea seeking transfer of probe in the case of alleged assault on a woman lawyer from Delhi police to CBI on the ground that witnesses were being "harassed" by cops and asked the police chief to file an action taken report.

A four-judge bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha had earlier taken suo motu cognisance of the letter of the woman lawyer in which she alleged that some policemen and others had manhandled her inside Lajpat Nagar police station on April 4 when she had gone to serve a copy of a judicial order.
"Having regard to the gravity of matter, we direct the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to submit to this court the report about action taken on the complaint made by Ambika Das on April 12 and the complaint of the Supreme Court Bar Association made on April 28.

"The Deputy Commissioner of Police, East Delhi is also directed to ensure that no harm is caused to the person of Ambika Das," the bench, also comprising justices AK Patnaik, KS Radhakrishnan and SS Nijjar, had said.

Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, who has been appointed amicus curiae in the matter, today sought urgent hearing of a fresh plea before a vacation bench of justices BS Chauhan and AK Sikri which posted it for hearing tomorrow.
The plea said eye witnesses, which include poor vegetable vendors and rickshaw pullers, are being harassed to create evidence against the lawyer who had claimed that she had been manhandled inside the police station.

Seeking transfer of probe from Delhi police to CBI, the plea said, "...Das has reasonable apprehension her witnesses are being forced by DCP/ACP/SHO of Lajpat Nagar police station to make statement against her.

"She also apprehends that she is being fixed in some false cases as she got missed calls from unknown Pakistan numbers on her mobile."

The plea has also sought a direction that police be stopped from summoning witnesses till further orders of the court.

Earlier, the apex court had taken serious note of Delhi Police inaction in protecting the woman advocate who was allegedly assaulted by some policemen and henchmen of an influential person against whom she had gone to serve the court`s stay order in a property dispute case.

The advocate had lodged the complaint with the Police Commissioner that she was assaulted on April 4 at the Lajpat Nagar Police Station in south Delhi when she had gone to serve the court order relating to a property in which a person named Himmat Rai Malhotra is involved.

She had complained she was dragged and beaten by the people owing allegiance to the opposite party when she reached the police station.

The Supreme Court Bar Association has also sought severe action against the erring policemen.