Intimidation at the Judicial Commission of Enquiry

published on March 1, 2009

From:
Radha Rajan,
 
To:
The Commissioner of Police, Chennai,
Shri Radhakrishnan.
 
                                      Sub: Why was there no police in the venue of the judicial enquiry?
 
Mr. Commissioner, Namaskar.
 
I
wish to register my very strong protest that there was no police inside
the premises of the Justice Srikrishna Judicial Enquiry Commission
constituted to look into the events of February 19.
 
I, Radha Rajan, Smt. Uma Anandan, Shri T Ramesh and
Shri BR Haran, came to the venue on Greenway’s Road to depose before
Justice Srikrishna. There was great hostility to our presence.
 
In the afternoon a group of lawyers approached us menacingly
wanting to know why we were present at the venue and who had invited
us. They asked the Registrar Shri Vijayan to evict us. The Registrar
tried to make them see reason and spoke persuasively but without
success. 
 
The situation was fast becoming ugly and the
Registrar, instead of making sure that we were allowed to exercise our
constitutional right to depose before the Commission actually asked us
to leave. He asked us to give our deposition in writing which he said
he would hand over to Justice Srikrishna. 
 
The group of lawyers continued to intimidate us
by asking us why we were there, in what capacity and what were we going
to say to Justice Srikrishna and when we refused firmly to discuss
anything with them and also politely told the Registrar that we were
not leaving until we had deposed before the Enquiry Commission, the
situation was tense and really ugly.
 
Mr. Commissioner, I am surprised that the advocates
took the position that the Commission of Enquiry has been constituted
only for them to depose before Justice Srikrishna with regard to the
events of February 19. They did not want any one to raise the events of
February 17 which alone caused February 19.
 
Knowing that these lawyers were capable of unleashing
violence at the drop of the hat, I am surprised Sir and appalled that
there was no police in the venue.  The situation could have turned very
violent. I am unable to understand how, when no person inside the venue
had the capacity to protect ordinary citizens from these violent
lawyers, is it possible to conduct a fair and impartial enquiry if
these lawyers were going to frighten away individuals and groups who
they thought could influence the commission in a manner detrimental to
their goal.
 
I am sorry the police did not think it was necessary
to be present to protect ordinary citizens. You have, with your
absence, allowed the lawyers to control the venue and have in fact
given them the authority to decide who will be present, who will depose
and what will be said. 
 
Please forgive me my strong language Sir. But after
the violence in Court Hall 3 about which we came to depose before
Justice Srikrishna, to be intimidated by lawyers again at the venue of
the commission of enquiry, in the presence of the Registrar, makes me
wonder how an entire state and its administrative mechanism can be held
hostage by a few hundred lawyers who will not hesitate to unleash
violence ofwhen crossed or challenged.
 
I register my strong protest Sir and outrage.
 
respectfully, 
Radha Rajan.     

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