[Hapur Incident] "We hope that investigation will be fair, transparent and impartial": Allahabad HC seeks investigation progress report by October 12

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On August 29 at Hapur, police reportedly resorted to lathi-charging lawyers who were vehemently opposing a case lodged against a female advocate and her father just a week prior. The clash triggered a wave of strikes by multiple Bar Associations throughout the State in solidarity with the aggrieved advocates

The Allahabad High Court on Monday expressed its hope that the investigating authorities shall conduct the investigation into the incident of alleged Police violence on lawyers at Hapur on August 29, 2023, in a fair, transparent, and impartial manner.

The bench of Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Mahesh Chandra Tripathi added,"It goes without saying that the FIR lodged at the instance of aggrieved advocates will be duly examined and investigated in a fair and impartial manner".

The bench made the observation in light of the claims of the Bar Associations/Bar Council that the preliminary report of SIT was not satisfactory.

In compliance of court's previous direction issued in the suo motu PIL initiated by the high court after several strikes were called out by various Bar Associations across the State, a preliminary fact-finding report in a sealed envelope was produced before the division bench through the Registrar General of the high court. 

On court's permission, the report was perused by counsels representing different Associations of Bar who alleged that in the report, various aspects relating to grievances raised by the advocates had been overlooked.

They claimed that the incident relating to Hapur had not been examined in correct perspective.

In its order dated September 18, 2023, the division bench noted that to address the allegations of the Bar Association, it was submitted by the Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal, appearing for the State, that in the matter initially 22 complaints were received and the FIR was lodged on September 6, 2023 at the instance of aggrieved Advocates.

The investigating officers are making all endeavours to hold fair and impartial enquiry, AGA asserted. 

He further submitted that so far as various complaints received in the matter were concerned, it was not possible that all such complaints be adverted in such a short time.

He assured the court that the matter would be investigated fairly and promptly and the outcome in respect thereof would be placed before the court on the next date fixed.

In its order, the division bench also noted that it was informed that the State in order to ensure fairness in the investigation had transferred the investigation of the criminal cases relating to the Hapur incident to Meerut.

Therefore, while expressing its expectation that the investigation in the matter will be fair and transparent, the division bench said, 

"At this stage of the proceedings, we do not intend to make any observations/comments in respect of the ongoing investigation as the investigating authorities are already ceased of the matter".

Conclusively, court ordered that the progress of investigation shall be placed on record by filing the affidavit of the concerned Zonal Additional Director General of Police on the next date fixed.

The matter will be next heard on October 12, 2023. 

Case Title: In Re v. State of UP