India: Empty courtrooms, mass adjournments at Kerala High Court as lawyers protest police violence against Kollam advocate

This is the first time in the recent past that courtrooms have been completely deserted which is perhaps an indication that this protest is unlikely to die down without resolution.

Courtrooms at the Kerala High Court wore a deserted look on Tuesday, barring a few judges and court officers, as lawyers practicing before the High Court and the District Courts in Ernakulam abstained from work in solidarity with the ongoing protests by the Kollam Bar Association.

The Kollam Bar has been protesting the manhandling of a lawyer by police personnel.

A notice issued by the Kerala High Court Advocates’ Association early this morning stated that since the government has not yet taken any evident action against erring police officials, members of the KHCAA will be boycotting work today.

The issue concerns advocate P Jayakumar, a member of the Kollam Bar Association who was allegedly subjected to violence in police custody when he was detained in connection with a road accident.

The incident had led to a protest by some lawyers in the premises of the District Court at Kollam, which then ended up in a violent clash between lawyers and police officers on September 13.

The members of the Kollam Bar Association have since been boycotting work and demanding that action be taken against the erring police personnel.

The protest gained momentum over the past week with lawyers of the High Court also joining in abstaining from work.

The KHCAA had, in 2021 also, engaged in similar protests, against police summons issued to Senior Advocate B Raman Pillai, implementation of e-filing, among others.