Thursday, November 18, 2021

After the assault on Aurangabad judge, Madhubani judge assaulted by police officers

Bihar Police officers have assaulted Madhubani District & Sessions judge, according the order of Patna High Court's Division Bench. The court has summoned Chief Secretary, Bihar and DGP, Bihar on 29 November, 2021. Similar incident was reported last year from Aurangabad. 

In CWJC-19047/2021, the High Court on its own motion passed an order on a letter dated 18/12/2021 and summoned Chief Secretary, Bihar and DGP, Bihar. 

Station House Officer Gopal Krishna and Sub-Inspector of Police of Ghoghardiha, Madubani Abhimanyu Kumar Sharma  entered the chamber of judge Avinash Kumar and manhandled and abused the judge. 

In this alarming incident from Bihar, two police officers assaulted and abused an Additional District and Sessions Judge inside his chamber on 18/11/2021.

An order passed by the High Court based on the information received from District and Sessions Judge of Madhubani, narrated the sequence of events.

The order was passed on a suo motu case initiated by the High Court after receiving the communication from District and Sessions Judge, Madhubani regarding the incident.

The order said that Station House Officer Gopal Krishna and Sub-Inspector of Police of Ghoghardiha, Abhimanyu Kumar forcibly entered the chamber of judge Avinash Kumar who is an Additional District and Sessions Judge, Jhanjharpur, and started abusing and insultingvhim.

Both police officers manhandled the Judge and physically assaulted him, the High Court order said.

"They also took out their service revolvers and wanted to attack the officer. However, certain Court employees and Advocates reached their due to which life of the officer was saved," the order stated.

The High Court said that prima facie, it appeared that the episode is such that it puts the independence of judiciary in jeopardy.

The Court, therefore, issued notice to the senior most state officials. Lawyers associations have been demanding  independent security force for the court premises. There was a similar incident in Aurangabad last year wherein District Judge, Aurangabad was assaulted by a S.I. of Bihar Police. 

On October 21, 2020 an the unprecedented, unwarranted assault and intimidation occurred with  Dr. Dinesh Pradhan, District Judge, Aurangabad, Bihar by Bihar Police. Bihar Judicial Services Association and Association for Judges, Gujarat has condemned the incident.

Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL) took note of the Letter of Condemnation dated October 31, 2020 in the matter of unprecedented and unwarranted assault on Dr. Dinesh Pradhan, District Judge, Aurangabad, Bihar on October 21, 2020 by S.I. Pranav of Bihar Police in reaction to action against him and a few other police officers by Judge Dr. Pradhan for dereliction of duty a few months back when he was the chief judicial magistrate, Aurangabad. 

CFCL had sought details of the letters/statements of Bihar Judicial Services Association including its  October 24 letter to DGP and letters/statements of All India Judges Association. It is also looking for a copy of the Aurangabad DM's order initiating an inquiry into the matter, written application against erring police personnel with Town Police Station prior to the incident and after the incident. 

Association of Judges had rightly said that "This is not an assault on and insult with Dr. Pradhan   only  but   is   assault   on   and   insult   of the whole subordinate Judiciary of the nation." 

In such cases, unless higher judiciary ensures stringent exemplary action, the day is not far when the spark will reach the judges of High Courts and Supreme Court. State Government is expected to act immediately against the erring policemen after the elections.  The concerns raised by CFCL and Association of Judges in the earlier case remain germane in this case as well. 

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