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Allahabad HC Takes Suo Moto Cognizance Of Firing Inside A Courtroom ; Summons Addl. Chief Secretary & DGP [Read Order]

18 Dec 2019 1:33 PM GMT
Allahabad HC Takes Suo Moto Cognizance Of Firing Inside A Courtroom ; Summons Addl. Chief Secretary & DGP [Read Order]
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The Allahabad High Court has taken suo moto cognizance of the shocking incident where three men began to open fire inside a courtroom in the Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh.

On Tuesday afternoon, three men entered the court of CJM, Bijnor while the Court was functioning and began to open fire, resulting in death of one and injuring one Court Moharrir among others. As per the report, the CJM somehow managed to escape and go to his chamber with other staff of Court.

Taking cognizance of the deplorable incident, the bench of Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice Suneet Kumar remarked,

"It is high time that now immediate steps must be taken. We cannot afford to delay and defer the matter. Time has come when this aspect has to be dealt with strong conviction and determination."

The bench took judicial notice of the fact that many a times in the past, attempts had been made to secure district courts. Nevertheless, such relentless attacks continued to occur in various District Judgeships including Muzaffarnagar, Agra and now Bijnor.

The bench noted that in 2008, the then Chief Justice of the high court had constituted a Committee, presided by a Senior Judge, to suggest and implement various ways for security of District Judgeships. Several meetings in that regard were also with State Governments' Officials but, in vain.

"…nothing concrete has been done till date. Now, even Judicial Officers are not safe, since incidents are taking place in Court Rooms," the court remarked.

Asserting that it was high time to act against such violent incidents, the bench suggested certain steps for ensuring security in the District Judgeships, as follows:

  1. Advocates' Role in District Judgeships should be made forthwith so that Advocates appearing in District Judgeship are registered in appropriate manner and their identity is known to Court staff as well as security personnel.
  2. Litigants entry in District Judgeships should be allowed with an entry pass for which necessary arrangements shall be made in District Judgeships.
  3. Advocates be requested to carry their I-cards throughout while they are in Court campus and must show to the security personnel as and when demanded. There should not be any issue of ego or prestige on this aspect since it is a matter of their own security.
  4. A specialized well-trained force be provided for the purpose of maintaining security in District Judgeships throughout the State of U.P. and whenever required, personnel from that Force may also be deployed in this Court along with existing security provided by C.R.P.F., if necessary.
  5. There should be proper arrangement for safe entry of accused who are brought to Court.
  6. Entry of Advocates and litigants should be separate.

The bench clarified that these were only preliminary guidelines for the time being, open to requisite modifications. In this behalf, it sought suggestions from all District Bar Associations, U.P. Bar Council and Bar Associations of Allahabad High Court and Lucknow.

The court further requested Bar Council of U.P., Allahabad, High Court Bar Association, Allahabad and Oudh Bar Association of Lucknow to send one representative each to participate in Court proceedings for making system of security full-proof.

While fixing the matter for December 20, the court summoned Additional Chief Secretary (Home), U.P. and Director General of Police, who are responsible for taking policy decisions, to seek their suggestions as to the manner in which they can procure adequate security to District Judgeships in the State.

The State was represented by Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal with AGA Syed Ali Murtaza and the high court by Advocate Ashish Mishra.

Read Order

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