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Delhi HC warns AAP's legal cell against holding protests in courts' vicinities
Last Updated : 27 Mar 2024 12:42:36 PM IST
The Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court


The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued a stern warning against organising protests within the precincts of any courts in the capital.

The court was addressing a complaint lodged regarding a protest called by the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) legal cell in the vicinities of courts against the arrest of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Scheduled for Wednesday across various Delhi courts, this demonstration by the legal cell and AAP political workers has sparked controversy and legal pushback.

The warning came from a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora, who expressed concern over the proposed protests at court premises.

"Consequences are very severe for organising a protest in court," Justice Manmohan remarked, emphasising the gravity of the situation.

Justice Manmohan reiterated the Supreme Court's stance on maintaining the sanctity and uninterrupted function of the court, stating, "There will be serious consequences. The law laid down by Supreme Court will be applied. Court cannot be withheld. Court cannot be stopped."

Pointing out the fundamental rights of individuals, the acting Chief Justice affirmed, "You cannot take away someone's fundamental right to approach the court; that is settled law. If someone does it, they will do it at their own peril, and we will take action if required."

The court will hear the matter on March 28.

The complainant, Vaibhav Singh, a practicing lawyer, has called for an immediate cessation of what he terms as an "illegal call for a protest" within the premises of any court.

Vaibhav Singh's complaint extends to a request for the Bar Council of India and the Bar Council of Delhi to investigate the matter for professional misconduct thoroughly.

Additionally, Singh seeks directives from the bar associations of all district courts and high courts to commence disciplinary actions against lawyers and political workers participating in the protest.

He suggests imposing penalties on AAP's Legal Cell for orchestrating what he believes to be an unauthorised demonstration within court boundaries.

According to the complaint, the trend of political parties mobilising their legal arms to strike, protest, or call for boycotts within court vicinities has become increasingly common, sometimes aiming to pressure law enforcement or the judiciary.

Specifically, the complaint highlights a video posted by Sanjiv Nasiar, an advocate and Vice-Chairman of the Bar Council of Delhi, on his X account.

In the video, Nasiar criticises the arrest of CM Arvind Kejriwal as unlawful and alleges it was motivated by the Central government, a claim that the complainant argues is unfounded and damages the reputation of law enforcement agencies and the government.

"That Mr. Sanjiv Nasiar (Advocate) who is also the vice chairman of Bar Council of Delhi had put a video on his twitter handle on 26.03.2024 at about 03:45 p.m. calling the arrest of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as illegal and also gone to the extent of saying that the arrest by Enforcement Directorate is on the behest of Central Government," the complainant said.

The AAP Legal Cell's protest is slated to occur in several key legal locations in Delhi, including the High Court, Patiala House Court, and others, potentially marking a significant confrontation between political activism and legal professional conduct standards.

New Delhi
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