17 Jun 2022 6:27 AM GMT
A Gujarat High Court Advocate Aniq Kadri has moved the High Court challenging Section 41A CrPC issued to him by State Police for allegedly providing illegal assistance to former additional solicitor general (ASG) to the Gujarat High Court Senior Advocate IH Syed.Kadri has been summoned in connection with an FIR registered against Senior Lawyer Syed pertaining to a business dispute and he has...
A Gujarat High Court Advocate Aniq Kadri has moved the High Court challenging Section 41A CrPC issued to him by State Police for allegedly providing illegal assistance to former additional solicitor general (ASG) to the Gujarat High Court Senior Advocate IH Syed.
Kadri has been summoned in connection with an FIR registered against Senior Lawyer Syed pertaining to a business dispute and he has been named as an accused of wrongful confinement, assault, and extortion.
Kadri had represented Senior Advocate Syed during his anticipatory bail hearing and quashing petition in an FIR. He was granted anticipatory bail by Gujarat HC on June 8.
Now, on June 15, 2022, at 10:07 PM, the Pethapur police issued a Section 41A, CrPC notice to Kadri indicating that sufficient evidence was available against him of illegal assistance or shelter to Syed.
It was further directed that he should remain present at the Pethapur police station, Gandhinagar on June 16, 2022, at 05:00 PM.
Challenging this very notice as being deliberately vague, Kadri has moved the HC contending that the notice does not specify the timelines of the role alleged against the Applicant and therefore, has filed the present application.
"The contents of the subject Notice under Section 41A, CPC are absolutely vague and capable of being interpreted to suit the convenience of the Respondents. The only role of the Applicant is of being an advocate for his senior, Mr. I.H. Syed, who is an accused in the above-referred FIR. The Applicant's role as an advocate cannot be considered as illegal assistance at all. The indirect reference to giving shelter to his senior is, by the Notice itself said in the alternative to assistance and is not only vague, but completely baseless. Therefore, there is no offence made out against the Applicant warranting issuance of Notice under Section 41A, CrPC," the plea submits.
Moreover, the plea adds, that the insinuation in the said Notice and the purpose thereof seeking the appearance of the Applicant for his purported role of assisting or sheltering one of the accused, is rendered baseless since the HC has already observed in the order dated 08.06.2022 that Mr. I.H. Syed could not be said to be avoiding investigation since he was seeking to exercise his legal and constitutional rights.
Yesterday, while hearing the matter, the bench of Justice Samir Dave issued a notice to the respondent state and it is expected to take up the matter for further hearing today.
Importantly, the Gujarat High Court Advocates' Association (GHCAA) has already passed a unanimous resolution yesterday expressing solidarity with advocate Aniq Kadri. A statement released by the Association states thus:
"The President of GHCAA called an extraordinary urgent meeting (circular and virtual) of the Manging Committee of GHCAA to show solidarity and support to a very young lawyer of our Association Mr. Anik Kadri who is summoned by Police Officer under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for discharging his professional duties by filing his Vakalatpatra in an anticipatory bail application of his senior who was made accused in an apparently false, frivolous and vexatious FIR concerning very trivial offences. From the summons it appears that he is called to give his statement for rendering his legal assistance (branding it as harbouring or assisting in harbouring an accused) in filing a quashing petition, anticipatory bail application and other legal proceedings which every one is entitled to pursue under our constitutional scheme. If an advocate is permitted to be summoned by police for filing legal cases concerning liberty and freedom of his client who might be apprehending his arrest pursuant to a FIR or issuance of a non-bailable warrant or who is questioning the legality and validity of a proclamation of being absconder, no advocate will be safe. As an Association of advocates, it is our duty to question and challenge the abuse of police power and to safeguard the rights, privileges and interest of advocates.
The Managing Committee has passed the following resolution unanimously:
(i) The GHCAA will intervene in the proceeding filed or that may be by Mr. Anik Kadri before the High Court of Gujarat or any other court.
(ii) The GHCAA shall also file a public interest litigation/class action or legal action in a representative capacity for the entire lawyer community seeking court's intervention and laying down guidelines for the arrest of an advocate and with regard to summoning an advocate.
(iii) The GHCAA shall make a detailed representation to the Bar Council of India and State Bar Council in this regard to push forward the Advocates Protection Bill and get a law passed.
(iv) The GHCAA shall make a representation to the Advocate General also to see that advocates are not harassed by police in the garb of exercising police power.
(v) If Mr. Anik Kadri is compelled to attend police station pursuant to the summon issued to him or to make statement upon the conclusion of all legal proceedings, more than three hundred advocates of GHCAA will go to the police station with Mr. Anik Kadri and stand with him in protest against the police excesses and abuse of police power."