CHENNAI: “I have been in this court for about a year now and there are no terrorist activities warranting the CISF,” remarked Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh of Madras High Court, on Monday.
This suggested a new line of thinking, as former Chief Justice S K Kaul had insulated the High Court campus about 18 months ago from external and internal disturbances by deploying the CISF.
When the batch of PILs challenging the year-long suspension of certain advocates came up before the first bench, the other judge being Justice R M T Teekka Raman, the Acting CJ pointed out that the court premises was for the general public and should not appear like court martial. If any law and order problem arises, it was for the local police to manage, he added.
When former Madras High Court Advocates Association president R C Paul Kanakaraj pointed out that the TN government was spending about `66 crore per year towards salary, accommodation and other perks to the CISF personnel manning the High Court, the judge quipped:
“If the Centre is keen to provide high security to the court, why should the State government pay?” Kanakaraj added that the infrastructural facilities, created to accommodate the CISF personnel need not be removed and that they may be allowed to be used by the State police.
Questioning the need for CISF cover, for which the TN government was paying a huge sum of `32 crore per year towards salary component alone, the bench said everywhere in India, only the respective State police are managing the courts.
When Assistant Solicitor General S Srinivasan pointed out that Delhi High Court was under CISF security, the bench said, “May be it is required there because Delhi is nearer to Pakistan.”
“Legal fraternity will fully cooperate with State police,” Kanagaraj, added. Additional Advocate-General C Manishankar furnished a report and photographs of the under construction frisking points of the CISF on the court campus.
The case has now been posted to the first week of June for further hearing.