High Court Directs Kerala Govt To Provide Adequate Police Protection In All Court Premises & To District Judiciary Officers
In a significant order, the Kerala High Court has directed the state government and police to provide adequate police protection in all court premises and to the officers of the district judiciary. The Court observed that there was an increase in sporadic untoward incidents in the Courts of the district judiciary and it cannot wait for untoward incidents to happen for providing...
In a significant order, the Kerala High Court has directed the state government and police to provide adequate police protection in all court premises and to the officers of the district judiciary.
The Court observed that there was an increase in sporadic untoward incidents in the Courts of the district judiciary and it cannot wait for untoward incidents to happen for providing security arrangements in Courts.
Thus, the Division Bench comprising Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque and Justice C.S. Dias suo moto impleaded Additional Chief Secretary to Government (Home Department) and State Police Chief as 5th and 6th respondents and directed thus:
“In the result, we direct the additional respondents 5 and 6 to immediately provide adequate police protection in all the court premises in the State of Kerala and to the officers of the District Judiciary as stated in Annexure A report. The Registrar (District Judiciary) and the Chief Security Officer of this Court shall coordinate with respondents 5 and 6 and work out the modalities to implement the order. A compliance report shall be placed on record before the next posting date.”
The Court passed the above order in a batch of cases that dealt with the inordinate delay and pendency of cases in Family Courts. The Court had earlier issued directions to open child-friendly rooms in the Family Courts. It was informed that as per its earlier directions, necessary steps have been taken and that a child-friendly room has been opened in the Family Court, Ernakulam also.
The Court had also directed the Registrar of the District Judiciary to file a report regarding the security arrangements provided in court premises and to district judicial officers. On perusing the report, it noted that security arrangement was only made in a few courts and not in all courts.
The Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), Kerala submitted before the Court that the state government has filed an affidavit before the Apex Court in Karunakar Mahalik v. Union of India (2021), a suo moto case registered after the murder of a judicial officer in Jharkhand. The Court was apprised that the state government, in its affidavit, has undertaken to provide sufficient security to the judges and the courts in the district judiciary. The Court was also informed that the state government has deployed adequate Police personnel in the court premises during the working hours.
The Court observed that prevention was better than care and it cannot wait for untoward incidents to happen before making security arrangements in Courts of district judiciary. It held that the state should abide by the undertaking filed before the Apex Court and noted thus:
“We have witnessed sporadic untoward incidents in different courts in the State. We cannot be in a slumber till an untoward incident occurs. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The State is obliged to keep up with its undertaking before the Honourable Supreme Court that it will maintain law and order in all the court premises and provide adequate police protection to the Officers of the District Judiciary.”
The matter has been posted to January 12, 2024 for obtaining the compliance report.
Case title: Shiju Joy A. v Nisha and connected matter
Case number: OP(FC) Nos.352/2020, 89/2021 and connected cases