Hyderabad, Dec 17: Lawyers in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh Monday boycotted courts to protest a government order for prosecution of 24 lawyers for vandalising the premises of state high court two years ago.
Demanding that the government withdraw the order, lawyers stayed away from courts and staged protests. Mild tension prevailed in the state high court premises when protesting lawyers were prevented by the police from setting afire an effigy of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.
The lawyers later burnt an effigy of the chief minister and the copies of the government order at Madina Circle on the high court road.
Protests were also held at Nampally Criminal Court complex and at other courts in Hyderabad and in nine other districts of the region.
Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) convenor M. Kodandaram backed the lawyers.
He said the government refused to give permission to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for prosecution of ministers facing corruption charges but the same government issued an order to prosecute lawyers for participating in a movement for Telangana state.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and other groups fighting for Telangana state have also extended support to the agitating lawyers.
The state government through an order issued on Dec 15 permitted the Hyderabad central crime station police to prosecute the lawyers under various sections of the Indian Penal Code charging them with damaging the public properties and causing disrepute to the judiciary.
The order was issued following a recent Supreme Court directive ordering criminal action against the lawyers for destroying court properties and obstructing the proceedings.
This is the first time in the state’s history that lawyers face prosecution for vandalising court premises.
It was on Sep 15, 2010 that the lawyers, demanding 42 percent reservation for the Telangana region for the appointment of law officers, attacked two court halls, where the judges were conducting the proceedings.
The mob damaged the furniture and threw books, mikes and tables around. The lawyers allegedly threw papers and books at a judge, hailing from Andhra region.