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'Courts Are Soft Targets, Security Issue Can Get Worse With Overcrowding': Delhi Police Tells High Court

Akshita Saxena
12 Oct 2021 8:21 AM GMT
Courts Are Soft Targets, Security Issue Can Get Worse With Overcrowding: Delhi Police Tells High Court
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In the suo moto case concerning safety and security at various court complexes in the national capital, the Delhi Police today suggested that entry of visitors to the Courts should be restricted in general."I will say this very cautiously. Security issue can get worse with overcrowding. Courts are soft targets," said ASG Chetan Sharma, appearing on behalf of the Delhi Police. He urged that use...

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In the suo moto case concerning safety and security at various court complexes in the national capital, the Delhi Police today suggested that entry of visitors to the Courts should be restricted in general.

"I will say this very cautiously. Security issue can get worse with overcrowding. Courts are soft targets," said ASG Chetan Sharma, appearing on behalf of the Delhi Police. He urged that use of technology in enhancing security should be maximized.

The submission was made before the Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh which had taken suo moto cognizance of the recent gun firing incident inside Delhi's Rohini Court hall. The Bench had asked all the stakeholders to come up with suggestions, so as to address the issue of security lapse in courts, especially the District Courts.

Accordingly, the Delhi Police, the Bar Council of Delhi and the Delhi High Court Bar Association have filed their replies in the matter. Some of the suggestions are enlisted below:

  • Entry of visitors to court complexes should be restricted in general;
  • Mechanical scanning of digitized ID cards issued to Advocates, both for use at High Court as well as District Courts, akin to the proximity cards in Supreme Court;
  • Separate digitized ID cards be issued to Advocates' clerks;
  • All visitors including Advocate should be frisked with metal detectors;
  • Action for misconduct be taken by the Bar Council against such Advocates who resist such frisking;
  • Separate dress code for law interns;
  • Fortnightly meetings between security forces with respective Bar Associations;
  • Trial of gangsters be concluded within fixed time;
  • Production of Under Trial Prisoners before court only by Video Conferencing;
  • 3 tier security at Courts viz.: Security at outer circle, i.e. outside court complexes; Security in middle circle, i.e. at the Court's gates; and Security at inner circle, i.e., security personnel in civil dress deployed inside court premises;
  • Installation of more CCTV cameras, both outside and inside the Court complexes;
  • 24 hour control room to monitor visuals.

That apart, Advocate Mohit Mathur appearing for the Delhi High Court Bar Association further submitted that hawkers and salesman should not be allowed inside court premises, as it leads to a serious lapse in security.

"Hawkers are coming in court?" CJ DN Patel immediately expressed surprise.

The Bench was then informed that it is a very common issue in district courts, and many vendors enter the court building to sell books, mobile accessories, etc.

The matter has now been adjourned for further hearing on October 25.

Advocate Devendra Singh appeared for Bar Council of Delhi.

"This is a grave matter and requires immediate attention," the Chief Justice had observed while taking suo moto cognizance of the matter. It had therefore impleaded the Commissioner of Delhi Police, Ministry of Home Affairs and the Union Law Ministry as Respondent parties. The Court has also added all the Bar Associations in Delhi, including the Delhi High Court Bar Association as Respondents.

It had expressed that there is a need for:

  • Deployment of sufficient number of police personnel in all Court complexes in Delhi;
  • Installation of more CCTV cameras, they must work round the clock;
  • Full proof entry system is also required at all court complexes in Delhi, including in the High Court;
  • Installation of hi-tech metal detectors and baggage scanners is also required;
  • A shocking incident of gun-firing took place in a court room in Delhi's Rohini Court on Friday. As per various media reports, Gangster Jitendra Gogi was shot dead in a broad daylight shootout that took place in Rohini court today. Media portals have reported that apart from Gogi, 3 others have been killed in the shootout.

    The assailants, who were dressed as lawyers, attacked Gogi when he was brought inside the court room. Witnesses told the media that the judge and the court-staff were present while the horrific incident took place. Visuals of litigants and lawyers fleeing for shelter amidst the shootout have emerged.

    Case Title: Court on its own motion v. Commissioner of Police & Ors.

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