The Supreme Court on Thursday appointed a committee, headed by retired apex court judge B Srikrishna, to inquire into the clashes between lawyers and police in the Madras High Court on February 19.
A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan asked the Committee to submit its interim report within two weeks. The bench said the committee would consider taking immediate action against police officers, who allowed the entry of policemen inside the high court premises, resulting in alleged police excesses.
The bench said that the joint commissioner of police and three deputy commissioners of police, whose names have cropped up in the incident, will be transferred to facilitate the inquiry.
The apex court also said that the police station damaged inside the high court premises during the clashes will not be revived without its order. The committee set up by the high court to inquire into the incident of clash will stand scrapped, the court said.
The bench, however, allowed the other two committees set up by the high court to assess the damage to the vehicles and the properties of the court and to look into the injuries caused to the lawyers.
The Supreme Court also asked the lawyers, who are on a strike since January 29, to withdraw their agitation at the earliest.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on March 3. Appealing to the agitating lawyers to maintain decorum and discipline in the court, the bench said they should not hold meetings and shout any slogans in the court corridors.
Advocates, agitating on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, had clashed with the police over the arrest of some lawyers accused of assaulting Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy in the Madras High Court on February 19.