Plea in SC for contempt proceedings against two HC judges

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New Delhi, May 26 (UNI) A writ petition was today filed in the Supreme Court seeking contempt of court proceedings against two sitting Judges of Allahabad High Court for allegedly harassing and humiliating a practising advocate which resulted in his death in custody on May 13.

Petitioner Aeltemesh Rein, a Supreme Court advocate, has alleged that Justices B S Chauhan and Arun Tandon of the High Court directed the jail authorities to produce Shrikant Awasthi, a lawyer, before their court in handcuffs for 9-10 days daily in violation of the apex court ruling that no prisoners can be handcuffed without prior permission of the court.

According to the petitioner, two High Court judges are guilty of the violation of fundamental rights(Article 21,13 and 14 of the Constitution) of the deceased, read with section 16 of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971.

The petitioner urged the apex court to direct appropriate legal action against all those responsible for murder and abetment to murder of late Shrikant Awasthi who died in custody and also requested for appropriate compensation to the family members of Awasthi with the direction that the compensation money should be recovered from the pockets of the person found guilty of the offences.

Mr Rein in his petition has also alleged that Awasthi was taken to the hospital in fetters when his condition deteriorated and that his leg was in chain and the chain was tied to a hospital bed.

It was telecast by a private news channel.

The petitioner blamed Justices Chauhan and Tandon for the death of the lawyer and Justice Chauhan is alleged to have told the authorities 'Marne Do Usko'(let him die) when it was brought to the notice of the Judges that Awasthi was not eating anything.

The petitioner contended that judges cannot violate fundamental right of right to life and equality.

High Court lawyers are on strike against the high-handedness of the authorites and the Supreme Court Bar Associaton (SCBA) has also condemned the incident and has expressed solidarity with UP lawyers.

The Allahabad High Court, the Uttar Pradesh government and the Union Government have been made respondents in the petition.

The Chief justice of Allahabad High Court has already announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 3.5 lakh to the family of the deceased.

The petition is likely to come up for hearing next week.

UNI SC NY RP AS1729

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