KOCHI: The conciliation meeting called by Advocate General (AG) C P Sudhakara Prasad to discuss the attack on journalists by lawyers has reached a consensus to recommend the State Government to order a judicial inquiry by a retired judge into the violent incidents on the High Court premises. “The Acting Chief Justice will decide on initiating a probe into the incident,” the Advocate General told mediapersons after the meeting.
While proposing the name of retired judge Justice P S Gopinathan for conducting the inquiry, the AG said he would seek the consent of the Justice on the matter. However, no decision was taken at the meeting on reopening the media room at the High Court, which was closed at the behest of a section of advocates. It was decided at the meeting that everyone should abide by the Chief Justice’s decision. High Court Advocates’ Association president S U Nazar assured that steps would be taken to ensure a cordial atmosphere for journalists at the High Court from Friday onwards.
Meanwhile, a special police team headed by DCP Arul R B Krishna will probe the cases related to the scuffle between mediapersons and lawyers at the High Court. The Ernakulam Central Police have registered six cases in connection with the incident, including two under Section-149 of the IPC, against the lawyers and journalists involved in the clashes. Separate cases of assault have been registered based on statements given by the injured lawyers and journalists. “We will be registering more cases after recording statements of persons admitted to hospital following the clashes,” said the DCP. On Wednesday, journalists were attacked by a group of advocates on the High Court premises for the second consecutive day. Three women reporters had to seek shelter at the Registrar General’s office when the lawyers unleashed violence and abused them verbally.
The standoff began when a group of advocates forcefully evicted reporters from the media room at the High Court and locked it. They also verbally abused the journalists and stopped them from leaving the premises. In the meantime, the police came to the rescue of the women journalists and escorted them to the chamber of the Registrar General, who informed that the media room was closed temporarily. Later, the advocates took out a protest march outside the court complex.