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Four Cops Suspended For Assaulting Lawyer Inside Kollam Police Station, Kerala High Court Told

Navya Benny
22 Sep 2022 2:18 PM GMT
Four Cops Suspended For Assaulting Lawyer Inside Kollam Police Station, Kerala High Court Told
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The Kerala High Court on Thursday was informed that four police officials were placed under suspension on Wednesday for allegedly thrashing and handcuffing a lawyer inside a police station on September 5.

The submission was made during the hearing of a contempt petition filed against the action of the officials of Kollam police station. The Division Bench comprising Justice A.K. Jayasankar Nambiar and Justice Mohammed Nias C.P. issued notice and posted the matter for further hearing on a later date after it was informed about suspension of the policemen.

In the Contempt Petition, the petitioner Yeshwanth Shenoy submitted that when Advocate Panambil Jayakumar was taken into police custody in relation to a road accident, he was allegedly attacked by the Karunagappally Circle Inspector Gopakumar, along with other police officers while in custody.

The petitioner further submitted that one of the videos in circulation regarding this incident brought to light that Advocate Jayakumar had been handcuffed.

It was argued before the court that handcuffing an advocate in the police station is in blatant violation of the directions of the Supreme Court in President, Citizens for Democracy v. State of Assam & Ors. (2021), wherein it had been laid down by the apex court that, "handcuffs or other fetters shall not be forced on a prisoner - convicted or under-trial- while lodged in a jail anywhere in the Country, or while transporting or in transit from one jail to another or from jail to Court and back. The police and jail authorities on their own, shall have no authority to direct the handcuffing of any inmate of a jail in the country or during transport from one jail to another or from jail to Court and back".

The petitioner contended that "police by handcuffing the Advocate literally slapped the Hon'ble Supreme Court on its face, and by handcuffing a practicing advocate, has directly and undoubtedly challenged the might and majesty of Justice".

It was prayed that court ought to appoint a former Judge of the Court to inquire and find out the name of every police officer who had been present and involved in the incident. The petitioner also urged the court to summon the respondents and punish them for contempt "in the greater interests of justice."

During the hearing today, Special Public Prosecutor told the court that except the Gopakumar, all other 4 officers have been placed under immediate suspension.

The Special Public Prosecutor further submitted that the government has asked the DIG, Thiruvananthapuram Range, to enquire into the matter. If the particular action of the officers is found to be violative, action would be taken, the court was told.

The Petitioner on the other hand, remarked that, "the Special Public Prosecutor started without letting me submit what the matter is. As long as the State is showing this excitement, I will be more than happy".

On Tuesday, the Advocates of Kerala High Court had boycotted and abstained from court work in solidarity with the Kollam Bar Association as a protest against the police atrocity against the Advocate Jayakumar of Kollam Bar Association.

Case Title: Yeshwanth Shenoy v. Gopakumar & Ors.

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