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CJ Kaul Orders CISF Security Cover for Madras High Court

Published: 15th September 2015 03:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th September 2015 04:05 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI:  Taking a serious view of a group of lawyers and ‘civilians’ staging a sit-in protest inside the court hall demanding conduct of proceedings in Tamil, Chief Justice S K Kaul and Justice T S Sivagnanam on Monday ordered the State government to provide CISF or a similar force’s security cover to the Madras High Court’s principal seat in Chennai and bench at Madurai.

“The judges must feel secure while administering justice and thus, proper security has to be arranged to prevent such incidents, which not only disrupt the functioning of the court but can result in security breaches when courts are concerned with sensitive matters, especially a court like the present High Court and its Bench,” the judges said in a suo motu order.

While giving the direction, the court took into account a recent submission made by the police to the court’s security committee, highlighting how advocates behaved in an unruly manner and attacked the uniformed men on various occasions. Trouble began early in the morning, when the First Bench comprising the Chief Justice and Justice Sivagnanam was tipped off about a likely protest by a group of lawyers. While the judiciary passed on the information to the police, a group of lawyers accompanied by some people who were not in advocate’s robes, managed to enter the court hall and staged a protest. The protestors, including some law students, who had covered their mouth with black ribbons, held placards, urging the court to permit the use of Tamil as a court language.

This prompted the Chief Justice to question Solicitor General G Rajagopal on the security lapse and why a special force should not give adequate security to the court. Soon after, several top police officers descended near the court hall but the protestors remained inside.

The judges said the police were often reluctant to take any action, possibly due to past confrontation with the lawyers, and gave the order. 

The judges noted that the police was often reluctant to take any action, possibly due to past confrontation between lawyers and the police.

“(But) The courts and the judges cannot be left unattended and unprotected,” the bench of Justices Kaul and Sivagnanam observed.

The judges pointed out that in 2007 the Union Home Ministry had issued guidelines declaring the High Court in all states as high security zone. “We cannot wait anymore and issue directions to the State government to forthwith take action and initiate declaration of the High Court as a high security zone by the next date,” the bench said.

rea.JPGThe court also referred to the proceedings of the meeting of its Security Committee on July 7, wherein officer bearers of advocate’s associations had mentioned that considering the continuing altercation between the police and lawyers, the security cover of the court could be handed over to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

At that meeting, the Assistant Commissioner of Police (High Court Range) had submitted that advocates had beaten up the police personnel on at least 10 occasions in the past three to four years. The police did not escalate the issue earing a bigger altercation. Citing various instances of unruly behaviour, the Assistant Commissioner had said that some advocate passed “lewd remarks against women police personnel, especially those who would be in their early 20s.”

Some of them would lodge false complaints against clients who could not pay up heavy fees demanded by them.

Issuing notices to the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary and Union Home Secretary, the bench called upon the authorities concerned to “immediately take steps for handing over the security cover for the High Court to CISF or any other similar force.”

The judges added that this was necessary as incidents like those witnessed on Monday, were not only destructive and disrespectful towards the court, but affects the very ability of the court to dispense justice.



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