Lawyers in Manipur abstained from attending court in protest against the alleged assault of a lady advocate. Following it, the Judicial Magistrate First Class-1, Imphal West on Friday remanded the 27-year-old accused in 15-day judicial custody till January 27.
Condemning the assault with an attempt to outrage the modesty of the lady advocate, advocates of Manipur on Friday abstained from their duties and even cases in High Court and lower courts were postponed, with only urgent matters being taken up.
Advocates adjourned their cases that were listed on Friday, following the AMBA notice.
The All-Manipur Bar Association (AMBA) had earlier issued a notice, calling all members of AMBA to abstain from their duties on January 13 from 11:30 am till the end of the court in solidarity with the lady advocate.
As per the AMBA notice, the accused Longjam Rohit, 27, son of L Jibonkumar of Thangmeiband Maisnam Leikai, Imphal West was not represented before the court.
On the other hand, an advocate appeared on behalf of the victim before the court. Showing solidarity with the victim, several advocates were present at the court complex.
The advocates did not participate but appeared in court proceedings and only proxy counsels took the next date of hearing in various matters.
However, regarding the matter, some senior advocates were of the opinion that condemnation has been expressed and that advocates should not have abstained from their duties.
Due to such abstention, the rights of the accused presumed innocent until proven guilty have been violated as no advocate was available to him, they stated.
The senior advocates stated that abstaining duties in solidarity with the victim is understandable but questioned about other civilians and the right to legal representation.
It may be mentioned that the High Court Bar Association of Manipur and All Manipur Bar Association have strongly condemned the physical assault with an attempt to outrage the modesty of a lady advocate.
According to police record, the lady advocate, N Tejpriya Devi, was returning from the High Court of Manipur on January 10 at around 10:50 am and stopped at Nagamapal Phougeishangbam Leikai due to traffic when a Hero Pleasure driven by one person with a pillion rider hit on the back side of her two-wheeler. The lady advocate told the driver of the vehicle to apologize. However, the pillion rider (the accused) shouted at her, slapped her, assaulted, mocked and insulted with harsh words in front of the public.
The alleged accused Longjam Rohit, 27, son of L Jibonkumar of Thangmeiband Maisnam Leikai, Imphal West was arrested following the lady advocate's complaint on January 10.
During police interrogation, he informed that he, along with his friend Suaihiamthai from Khoupum Satudai village, was going to Uripok and on the way their vehicle hit the lady advocate vehicle and told them to apologize. They stopped and apologized but were not sure if the lady advocate heard them, as per Jibonkumar.
From interrogation, police also ascertained that there were a good number of local people at the crime scene who witnessed the scene.
Police summoned the accused friend Suaihiamthai but he failed to appear at the police station. Police prayed for judicial custody as other witnesses to be detected for examination and in the initial stage of the investigation, if the accused is scot-free then it may hamper the investigation.
The court, after hearing submission, remanded him in judicial custody till January 27.