Kerala police file case against 10 lawyers who attacked journalists in vigilance court room

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM,Oct15:  The Kerala police today registered a case against 10 lawyers who man-handled journalists, including the principal correspondent of New Indian Express Prabhat Nair, in the Vigilance Court yesterday.

The Vanchiyoor police registered the case with Thiruvananthapuram police commissioner G Sparjan Kumar on the basis of a complaint lodged by Prabhat Nair, who was brutally attacked right in the presence of judge A Baddaruddeen.

Of the ten lawyers who were involved in the brutal attack, five including Kerala Bar Association secretary Anayara Shaji, R Rethin, Arun P Nair, L R Rahul and B Subash have been identified in the complaint.

Two women journalists who were forced out of the court premises also filed a complaint with the commissioner yesterday.

The accused have been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 294 (whoever, to the annoyance of others—(a) does any obscene act in any public place), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means),445 (If he effects his entrance or departure by using criminal force or committing an assault or by threatening any person with assault) ,341 (punishment for wrongful restraint).

The police commissioner has sought permission from judge Baddaruddeen to record statements of the accused lawyers. Statements by the complainants will be recorded in the coming days.

According to sub-inspector V Saiju Nath, who is investigating the case, the police have sought the permission of the Vigilance Court judge to take further action against the culprits.

The inspector said, “Along with the permission from the Vigilance Court, we have to take permission from the District Court too. Soon, we will seek permission to interrogate the accused persons. Further steps including arrests will be taken soon.”

The incident happened yesterday in a court room that was to hear a petition against minister E P Jayarajan. Some lawyers barged in and asked the five journalists in the room, including two women reporters, to leave the court. They manhandled Prabhat Nair inside the court and forced three others including the two women journalists out while verbally abusing them in front of the judge.

The advocates did not want the journalists’ presence in the court despite promises made by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Kerala High Court Chief Justice Mohan Shatanagouder that the media have no hindrance in reporting from court proceedings.