15 Sep 2023 12:30 PM GMT
In response to a distressing incident of looting that transpired in front of a museum in Patna, the Patna High Court has taken a stern stance. The incident, which took place on Wednesday, involved a female advocate and has prompted the Court to instruct the Senior Superintendent of Police (ASP) to submit a detailed report on the actions taken in the case by September 18.The division...
In response to a distressing incident of looting that transpired in front of a museum in Patna, the Patna High Court has taken a stern stance. The incident, which took place on Wednesday, involved a female advocate and has prompted the Court to instruct the Senior Superintendent of Police (ASP) to submit a detailed report on the actions taken in the case by September 18.
The division bench, comprising Chief Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice Partha Sarthy, issued this directive during hearing of a PIL filed by the Bihar State Federation of Women Lawyers, which sought to ensure the safety and security of women advocates, interns, and female staff commuting to and from the Patna High Court.
The Court has specifically directed the Senior Superintendent of Police to review the CCTV footage related to the incident, initiate an FIR, and take decisive action against the culprits. The Advocate General was ordered to provide comprehensive information about the case, and the SP was summoned to appear in court. SP Madhya Vaibhav Sharma subsequently appeared in court and informed the judges that an FIR had been registered. The court requested a detailed report on the entire case to be submitted by Monday.
During the court proceedings, the Chief Justice's courtroom was filled with women lawyers, highlighting the gravity of the situation.
The court also took note of the victim's lawyer's allegations that she had to visit multiple police stations with her toddler to lodge a complaint after the incident.
Shama Sinha, counsel for the Bihar Federation of Women Lawyers, urged the court for an urgent hearing on the matter. Subsequently, Advocate General P K Shahi, along with a team of police officers led by City SP (Central) Vaibhav Sharma, informed the court that an FIR had been filed, and investigation was underway.
The incident occurred on Wednesday at approximately 2 o'clock in the afternoon when a gang in an auto looted a gold chain, ring, and earrings from a female lawyer on Bailey Road. When she protested, three individuals in the auto threatened her life and even began strangulating her daughter. Subsequently, the criminals fled the scene in the auto near the High Court. The stolen jewellery is estimated to be worth around Rs 1.5 lakh.
This incident comes on the heels of another recent assault and robbery involving another female lawyer, who was attacked by an auto gang on Jagdevpath. The female lawyer sought assistance from nearby traffic police, but her pleas went unanswered, exacerbating her ordeal. The Bihar Federation of Women Lawyers presented these harrowing incidents before the High Court, provoking strong comments from the bench.
The Bihar Federation of Women Lawyers swiftly filed a petition with the High Court, drawing attention to the plight of these two women lawyers and demanding action against the culprits. The High Court, upon taking cognizance of the matter, expressed grave concern, stating that if such incidents were happening to lawyers, the fate of the general public was a cause for concern.
The case will now be heard again on September 18.
Counsel For the Petitioner/s: Ms. Shama Sinha, Advocate, Ms. Anukriti Jaipuriyar, Advocate
Case Title: Bihar Federation of Women Lawyers vs. The State of Bihar & Ors.
Case No.: Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No.13284 of 2023
Click Here To Read Judgment