//Bench pulls up advocates for damaging public property

Bench pulls up advocates for damaging public property

"Do you think there is nobody to question you?" asks judge
MADURAI : "You are daring enough to damage court property. Do you think there is nobody to question you?" These were the words of Justice M. Thanikachalam while hearing a writ petition filed by an advocate seeking reduction of monthly rent for lawyers’ chambers here on Tuesday.

The judge was referring to incidents on the Madurai district court premises on Monday when windowpanes and information boards were smashed by a section of advocates. "You advocates are not behaving like advocates. Better withdraw this case or else I will have to pass severe orders," he warned. The petitioner, B. Bommayan, contended that the rent of the lawyers’ chambers on the district court campus was exorbitant compared to other districts. The judge said, "You people are filing a case against paying Rs.200 per month but at the same time you are damaging public property."

Cases registered — Meanwhile, the city police registered cases against advocates for damaging public property. In a complaint forwarded to the Anna Nagar police by the Principal District and Sessions Judge, T. Duraisamy, it was stated that hundreds of advocates without uniform raised slogans in front of the district courtroom, disrupting the proceedings of the court. They damaged the windowpanes and information/partition boards near the courts of the Principal District and Sessions Judge and the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

Cases under Sections 147 (rioting), 353 (preventing Government servant from discharging duties) of IPC and Section 3 (1) of the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Public Property Damage and Loss Act were registered against the advocates. The cases were handed over to the City Crime Branch and no arrests made. The advocates have been on an indefinite strike since January 31, demanding the dismissal of the former Anna Nagar Inspector K. Marimuthu. A case was registered against the inspector last year for allegedly creating a false complaint, forging the signature of an advocate in an assault case.