PIL in Supreme Court seeks uniform Security Measures in all Courts across the country.
Author: Ms.Lepakshi Thakur, Chanderprabhu Jain College of Higher Studies
There have been a large number of mishappenings /crimes of violence which have taken place within the court and the court premises thus endangering the lives of the public and court officials present over there.
Citizens have the right to sufficient security in courts, states a petition filed in the Supreme Court seeking uniform guidelines for security measures in all courts across the country.
A female advocated has come up to the Supreme Court seeking inquiry in the murder case of newly elected 1st female President of UP Bar Council who was shot dead in Agra Civil Court last week. The petition filed by advocate Kirti Ahuja, says that the plea has been made in the continuance of the right to life and safe environment guaranteed to the citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The issue requires instant intermediation of the Supreme Court, the petitioner has submitted. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the matter on 25th June.
“The adjudication in this Petition is concerned with the protection of life and liberty of people and property. This is a public interest petition seeking arrangement and enhancement of security measures in the district trial courts as well as in High Courts of the country.”
Lack of safety in court premises demands implementation of the Advocates Protection Act. They also offered the memorandum, addressed to the Prime Minister.
Lawyers who have assembled in the court said that the draft of Advocates Protection Act has been ready for a decade but it was never presented in the state assembly as a Bill, so as to make it a law.
It was also pointed out that anti-social elements get into court premises with arms, creating an insecure atmosphere in the court premises.
Besides requests for constant guidelines for the security measures in courts, the petitioner has also tried to find directions for the Centre and States to implement those guidelines. The guidelines are sought to be issued after looking at the report from the authorities on the prevailing security arrangements in District and High Courts.
To paint a picture of the existing conditions of security measures in courts across the country, Ahuja has a list of twenty-three instances of attacks that took place in many District and High Courts in the last decade, the newest incident being the murder of UP Bar Council’s first woman President, Darvesh Yadav. The other incidents of attacks have been against advocates, policemen, undertrial prisoners, accused persons, witnesses, and people visiting the Courts.
Violent incidents and attacks in Court premises have introduced a sense of fear among advocates, the petition avers, adding that such incidents abolish the right to life and security of the people coming to Courts.
The condition of lady advocates is vulnerable so a direction is given to Bar Council of India to formulate a scheme towards the Social Security Measures for lady advocates and also for providing police security to lady advocates in court buildings and its amenities beyond court working hours throughout the country.
Promoting the need for security measures, the petitioner says that the security of those working at and visiting the courts is vital for conserving the integrity of the judicial system.
“In order to protect the integrity of our judicial system, there must be a feeling of security established for the people visiting and working at the courts. Security is not a one-time achievement. It is a serious and continuous goal and requires constant vigilance. Further, it must be the number one priority every single day for all those interested and involved in the process.”
While making a case for the need for improved security in courts, the petitioner has also made certain references like bringing security measures in District Courts at par with those at High Courts, three-level security placement, fitting of CCTV cameras, metal detectors etc., fixed entry and exit points, entry pass system for visitors in Court, and deployment of a highly trained workforce in Courts, among other things.
It’s the right approach and very quickly such type of threefold level check-in is to be set-out as permanent at every court complex and unwanted people should not be allowed into court premises.