A legal practitioner has moved the Bombay High Court praying for the appointment of judicial committee to look into the cases of assault on advocates in the line of their duty while stressing the need for a law to be out in place to protect advocates and their dignity.
The petition has been filed by legal practitioner Ajaykumar Waghmare, a resident of Nanded, before the Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court.
In his petition filed through advocate Panditrao S Anerao, Waghmare says India is placed 66th in rule of law index, fares poorly in civil justice, order and security as reported in the sixth world Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index.
The petitioner further submitted that if India ranks low on rule of law index, then it will have a deleterious impact on trade, business, and foreign investors as the risk of investing becomes unacceptable.
Citing media report about a 63-year-old senior civil lawyer in Maharashtra being assaulted by a former corporator whom he was questioning in a land dispute and how the accused had tried to kidnap the lawyer at gunpoint and threatened to kill him, the petitioner submitted that “judiciary and all its arms are the only protection enjoyed by the citizenry and it is important that some protective measures be immediately enacted to protect this noble profession of advocacy”.
He said assaults on advocates also abrogate the advocate’s right to dignity.
He stressed on advocates’ demand for an ‘Advocates Security Act’ similar to the ‘Judicial Officers Protection Act’ to ensure their safety and said it was the duty of the government to protect the rights of the advocates and help them get justice while adding that “reputation is a very precious commodity loss of which cannot be compensated for in any manner”.
The petitioner submitted that while it is the primary duty of the advocate to protect the interests of persons accused in criminal cases, some police personnel also develop grudges against the advocates and wait for opportunities to implicate them.
He also cited various instances of advocates being troubled by police along with local politicians etc.
Waghmare urged the court to immediately appoint a judicial committee to examine the causes and damage caused by such assaults on advocates besides appointing an amicus curiae to assist the court in delving in the issue.