The Bombay High Court, Goa has recently taken a suo motu cognizance in a case where a grievous assault was committed by police officials of the Porvorim Police Station on a practicing Advocate.

A Bench comprising Justice M.S. Sonak and Justice Bharat P. Deshpande ordered –

"By the next date, the State should file a preliminary affidavit apprising the Court of steps taken in the matter. Along with the affidavit, the State should also produce a copy of the Hurt Certificate, if any, and other relevant medical case papers concerning Advocate Gajanan Sawant. If possible, a copy of such affidavit to be furnished to the learned Amicus Curiae by 20/12/2022. Mr Pereira, the President of the Association states that he will address the Court on behalf of the Association. Since we understand that several other Advocates Associations have also raised issues of assault on Advocate Gajanan Sawant, we think that such Associations should present their version and other suggestions on this issue through the learned Amicus Curiae."

The Bench took cognizance based on the extraordinary meeting in which a resolution was passed by the Goa High Court Bar Association. It was stated in the resolution that expeditious action be taken by the Goa Police in this matter.

In the present case, the police officials were alleged to have brutally assaulted a practising advocate and used excessive force on him.

It was stated in the resolution that, "As the actions of the police officials/staff, irrespective of its merits, is a violation of human rights and a serious threat to functioning of the legal fraternity. It is therefore resolved to forward copies of this resolution for information and necessary action to the Hon. Chief Justice, High Court of Bombay and the Hon. Senior Administrative Judge at Goa, the Hon. Principal District & Sessions Judge, North Goa, the Hon. Chief Minster of Goa, the Hon. Law Minister of Goa, the Chief Secretary and the Directorate General of Police, Goa, for emergent and expeditious action, and an answer from the Goa Police, to the queries raised."

The High Court in the above regard, appointed Senior Advocate Subodh Kantak to assist as an Amicus Curiae.

The Court also requested, "… the High Court Bar Association to place on record a formal petition along with a compilation of documents and other matters which they wish the Court to consider. This will assist not only the Court but also the respondents whom we propose to notice. If the Association wishes to rely on the compilation of precedent/judgments, they should, if possible, furnish it by the next date."

The Court further directed impleadment of the State of Goa, Director General of Police, Superintendant of Police, Investigating Officer and four police constables as respondents and issued notice to them.

The Court while adjourning the case to Wednsday said, "… we request the learned Advocate General and the learned Public Prosecutor to assist the Court."

Cause Title - High Court On His Own Motion v. The State Of Goa

Click here to read/download the Order