UP Judge Alleges Assault & Abuse by Mob of Lawyers, FIR Lodged 

A Session Judge in Unnao has alleged assault and abuse by 150-200 advocates of Unnao Bar Association.

2 min read
A Sessions Judge in Unnao alleges assault by advocates in his courtroom

On March 25, Additional Sessions Judge (POCSO Special Court) Prahlad Tondon wrote a letter to the Station House Officer of Kotwali police station alleging that he was assaulted by around 150 advocates of the Unnao Bar Association inside his own courtroom.

ASJ Tondon claimed that he was slapped, abused, and kicked by a mob of lawyers belonging to the Unnao Bar Association who had entered the courtroom while chanting slogans and throwing chairs towards the judge’s dais.

Around 150-200 advocates entered my court shouting slogans and started throwing the chair and table in the courtroom and thrust the table dais harder and started abusing.
ASJ Prahlad Tondon

'I Tried To Escape'

In his letter, the additional sessions judge has given a vivid account of what transpired in his courtroom

I tried to go to my chamber, these people surrounded me and slapped me with kicking and pushed and grabbed my mobile.
ASJ Prahlad Tondon

As per the letter written to the police, on March 25 at around 11 am, a mob of 150-200 lawyers, along with the President and General Secretary of the Bar Association, entered courtroom number 11, where the judge was sitting and started shouting slogans and started throwing the chair and table in the courtroom.

The judge alleged that he was slapped and assaulted by these advocates before he was eventually rescued by the court staff.

In his letter, ASJ Tondon asked the Kotwali police to immediately initiate an inquiry into the incident. Pursuant to his letter, an FIR has also been lodged against the accused advocates.

Growing Instances of 'Gunda Raj'

The alleged assault of ASJ Tondon is not the only incident of an attack on a member of the legal fraternity inside the court premises in the state.

On 12 June 2019, Darvesh Yadav, who was anointed as the first female president of the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council, was shot dead in her chamber in the Agra court. Responding to the incident, the Allahabad High Court on 13 June 2019 had directed the UP government to ensure “foolproof security” in all court premises in the state.

Allahabad High Court’s ‘stern directions’ didn’t translate adequately on the ground. A member of the Allahabad High Court Bar Association, who didn’t want to be named, said that the situation is even worse at the trial courts. He said:

Waha pe toh alag hee raj hai (There’s a completely different rule in operation there). These lawyers are not even scared of the judiciary, maybe they have some backing. 

On 5 March 2021, the family and counsel of the 19-year-old Dalit girl who succumbed after being allegedly gang-raped by four Thakur men in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras complained that they were charged at and threatened in open court.

As per the affidavit submitted before the court, on 5 March, during the hearing of the case in a special court in Hathras, an advocate named Tarun Hari Sharma stormed into the courtroom and charged at the applicant and the complainant counsel, shouting and issuing threats.

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