New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said
that the Centre should take up the issue of framing guidelines
for the prosecution of lawyers on the lines of judicial
officers in criminal cases.
"The Additional Solicitor General, appearing for the
Centre, is requested to take up the matter (for framing the
guidelines for prosecution of lawyers) with the authorities
concerned," a division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and
Justice Sanjiv Khanna said.
The bench, however, declined to frame the guidelines on
its own saying it was not its job and disposed of a PIL filed
by Vibhas Kumar Jha, a lawyer.
"The sanction from authorities concerned was necessary to
prosecute judicial officers and other government officials and
on similar lines, guidelines should be framed for trying
lawyers in criminal cases as they are also the officers of the
court," Jha said.
Police officials are often inimical to lawyers and they
treat advocates shabbily and for that purpose alone, the
framing of separate guidelines was necessary, he said.
Disposing of the PIL, the court said, "The guidelines are
already there. The Supreme Court, in the famous judgement in
the D K Basu case, had outlined the rights of a person, sought
to be arrested in a criminal case."
Jha, whose petition was later converted into PIL, said
that he was caught for traffic violation as he was driving his
car in the lane reserved for the vehicles of the Commonwealth
Instead of issuing a challan for the offence, the traffic
cops "harassed" him and took him the police station where he
was forced to wait for hours, he said.
Later, the court of a magistrate ordered registration of
an FIR against unknown policemen under relevant penal
provisions of the IPC, dealing with wrongful restraint and
non-compliance of law by public servants.
Police, in the status report, denied the allegations
saying in fact, it was the lawyer who had misbehaved with
the traffic police personnel.
Later, Jha approached the High Court which treated his
petition as a PIL.