The Orissa High Court has granted bail to Advocates who were arrested and whose licenses were suspended by the Bar Council of India over the allegations of vandalism.

While granting bail, the Court imposed certain conditions on the Advocates that they, inter alia, shall not post any remark on media about the case and that they shall not glorify their release from custody.

“…it is directed that the Petitioners- Shall not hold any public meeting relating to the case at hand; and ii. Shall not post any opinion/remark/views in print and electronic media including social media relating to the case at hand; and iii. Shall not glorify/publicize their release from custody…”, Justice V Narasingh directed.

The petitioners-Advocates had approached the High Court for bail after they were arrested for the alleged offences under Sections 147/452/341/ 323/ 353/ 354/ 332/506/ 186/ 188/427/294/149 of Indian Penal Code and Section 3 of the PDPP Act and Section 7 of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act.

It was stated on behalf of the Petitioners that there was no premeditation. It was further added that it was mob fury and it was an expression of collective anger at the disappointment of legitimate local aspirations being not redressed.

Senior Advocate Asok Mohanty appeared for Petitioners whereas ASC KK Gaya appeared for the state.

The Court observed that “Lawyers are an integral part of the justice delivery system. They are the bridge between the justice seekers and courts. Not for nothing, they are referred to as officers of the Court. The alleged conduct of the petitioners is deplorable to say the least. The manner in which they have conducted themselves shocks the conscience of this Court. However, it is the majesty of law reigning supreme that mandates, to treat all accused with an even hand notwithstanding their alleged conduct.”

The Court noted that by their conduct, the Advocates undermined the majesty and dignity of the Court and unabashedly put the Presiding Officers and Staff of the Court to mortal fear of their life and limb.

The Court observed that though it is deeply saddened and anguished by the manner in which the Petitioners conducted themselves, keeping in view the period of custody, filing of charge sheet, notwithstanding the seriousness of allegation, the Court ordered the release of Advocates on bail while imposing certain conditions.

Before parting with the case, the Court said that it hopes that the petitioners by their conduct on release will justify the trust reposed in them and shall not do anything overtly and/or covertly which would undermine the majesty of law.

Cause Title- Sureswar Mishra and another v. State of Odisha

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