New Delhi, May 25 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi government to consider the draft Advocates Protection Bill 2023 and hold a consultation with stakeholders on it.
However, the court was informed that the bill has been sent to Law Minister Kailash Gahlot and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
A bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh directed the AAP-led government to examine the bill and file an Action Taken Report (ATR), while listing the matter for further hearing on September 6.
"Let Delhi government take steps to consider the representation submitted. Stakeholder consultation also be done. After consultation and examination of the draft bill, let the action taken report be furnished," the court said.
The direction came on the plea filed by advocates Deepa Joseph and Alpha Phiris Dayal seeking a direction to the government to ensure a safe and secure atmosphere for Delhi advocates.
During the hearing, K.C. Mittal, the lawyer appearing for the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) informed the court that a draft of the bill has been prepared by the Coordination Committee which has been also sent to the Delhi government.
On April 1, advocate Virender Kumar Narwal, 53, was shot dead in Delhi's Dwarka by two motorcycle-borne assailants.
Joseph and Dayal, citing the "alarming rise" in incidents of violence inside the court premises in the capital in their petition, said that it was "high time now" for a decision to be taken for the enactment of an 'Advocates Protection Act' to guarantee protection to the fraternity and help overcome the fear.
If such an act is not passed in the national capital, the audacity of criminals to commit crimes against lawyers will rise, the petitioners claimed, adding that their concern for their own safety has been "aggravated by seeing the visuals and video of the cold-blooded murder of an influential and senior member of the Bar".
"The scenario particularly post the death of advocate Virender Narwal has created an atmosphere that does not feel favourable to practise the profession without fear and hence it impinges upon the right to practise any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business to all citizens under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India and also violates Article 21 of the constitution that guarantees protection of life and personal liberty," the petition said.
"The Petitioners are constrained to move this Hon'ble Court as they have felt a sense of despair among fellow members of the Bar as well.. The murder of Virender Narwal has compelled the Petitioners to think about their own safety," the plea said.
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