SC backs CISF cover for Madras HC saying “no one can be allowed to hold any institution to ransom”
Raising serious concern over the violence indulged in by lawyers in the Madras High Court premises, the Supreme Court today refused to interfere with HC’s order for deployment of CISF by replacing state police security in the court complex.
The Tamil Nadu government had moved the SC on November 2.
Rejecting charges of any deficiency on its part in protecting the Madras High Court and its judges against violence by protesting lawyers who were demanding that Tamil be made the official language of the court, the State government said it was delayed reaction from the Madras High Court that led to lawyers' agitation on September 14, 2015 going out of control with advocates entering courtroom armed with placards
Supreme Court said nobody, including the lawyers, can be allowed to hold to ransom the institution which has to remain effective by maintaining its integrity and dignity. The apex court made it clear it was not going to examine the issue at the instance of the state government which has filed an appeal against the High Court order of October 30. The Chief Justice (of the High Court) and judges are entitled to say that the police is ineffective.
“You cannot allow the institution to be held to ransom. We will not allow this to happen”, a bench comprising Justices T S Thakur and P C Pant said.
“They (judges) felt they are totally insecure with the local police. They have asked CISF to step in. If CISF also fails then other forces may be asked to be called,” it said.
The bench did not agree with the arguments of Tamil Nadu Government counsel and Senior Advocate L Nageshwar Rao that paying an hefty amount of Rs 36 crore per year to the Centre for deploying CISF would be a problem and, further, deputing central force would affect the morale of the state police. He said there would also be a language issue with the CISF at the High Court campus which is visited daily by 15,000 lawyers.
Brushing aside the arguments, the bench recalled the incident of September 14 and said people don't allow the institution to work. They (lawyers) squat with their children and female members of the family in the courtroom. What is all this happening? The bench told the counsel that the Tamil Nadu Government could go to the High Court and advance all arguments about the language problem and the morale of the state police. Go back to the High Court and point out the difficulties, the bench said and added we don't want to handle the security issue of the High Court. High Court is competent to handle it itself. If High Court feels that there is inadequate security it can certainly ask for CISF cover
In a strongly-worded petition, the State government accused the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) changing its stance in the issue without notice. It said that the Centre had at first agreed that there was no need for deployment of CISF at the High Court premises, but then changed its position to demand Rs. 16.6 crore from the State government for sending in CISF personnel.
The State government said the High Court has erred in directing the State Police to work with the CISF to secure the High Court premises. It said such an arrangement would lead to the possibility of “severe confusion” in crunch situations.
Image from here.