Chennai , Jul 17: Two senior judges of Madras High Court were in for a shock when a police constable rushed into the court hall to save himself from some angry lawyers who thrashed him outside.
A three-member police team comprising an inspector, sub-inspector and a head constable was in the court yesterday in connection with a habeas corpus petition which alleged the whereabouts of three advocates and a woman named Jayanthi were not known.
The case has its origins in Coimbatore where a neighborhood brawl had occurred.Advocates Elango,Chinnalagu and Manivannan went missing after they visited Coimbatore in connection with the brawl.
In the habeas corpus petition seeking a direction to the district police authorities to produce the missing advocates,the petitioner, who was the brother of Jayanthi, alleged the police took his sister and the advocates to the police station first and then confined them in a hotel at Ganapathi in Coimbatore.
A Division Bench comprising Mr Justice D Murugesan and Mr Justice S Palanivelu directed the Salem Police Commissioner to appoint two officials, not below the rank of Inspector,to inquire into the matter and file a report by July 23.
The judges further directed the Commissioner to ascertain whether Jayanthi was tortured by Saravanampatti Police Inspector Charles and whether the four had stayed at a lodge on their own.
After giving the directions, the Bench proceeded to other cases. While another hebeas corpus involving the Sulur Police in Coimbatore was being argued, Head Constable Palaniswamy, attached to the station, was waiting just outside the court hall. A junior advocate approached Palaniswamy and asked him whether he was from Coimbatore and if he was there in connection with a habeas corpus proceedings.
When Palaniswamy replied in the affirmative, the advocate, joined by two others, assumed he was associated with the Jayanthi Case and began hitting him.
Immediately Palaniswamy rushed into the court hall. A visibly upset Justice Murugesan expressed regret at the incident and said it was an affront to the court.
On information, the Registrar-General and another Registrar rushed to the Court hall.
An FIR, on the basis of a complaint from Palaniswamy, was registered by the B-4 High Court Police. In his complaint, the head constable said he did not know the names of the advocates who attacked him but could identify them.
The incident comes about a year after a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and an inspector of police were thrashed by advocates inside Madras High Court premises.
In June 2007, a group of over 20 advocates had similarly thrashed a DSP and an inspector inside the public prosecutor's chambers in Madras High Court premises.