In the wake of the shocking murder of UP Bar Council President Darvesh Yadav within Agra Court premises, a PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking arrangement and enhancement of security measures in the district trial courts as well as in High Courts of the country.
The petition filed by advocate Kirti Ahuja states that as thousands of people gather every day to attend hearings to handle other legal matters, courts have become vulnerable to acts of violence all over the country.
"There have been a very large number of mishappenings / crimes of violence which have taken place within the Courts or Court premises thus jeopardising the lives of the public and court officials present over there", states the petition, which is claimed to be "an extraordinary case which stands apart from the many cases that have been resolved by the Hon'ble Apex Court in its long journey in striving to disperse justice with the constitutional vision", states the petition, which is claimed to be "an extraordinary case which stands apart from the many cases that have been resolved by the Hon'ble Apex Court in its long journey in striving to disperse justice with the constitutional vision".
The plea details the increasing incidents of attacks on the Court Buildings, Judges, Advocates, Litigants, Witnesses and the undertrial accused. It also details how the petitioner-in-person has herself faced threats by unidentified goons in the courtroom itself at Pune, Maharashtra for being a witness in a case when she was a law student, and that till today the police has not been able to identify those persons as there is no checking at the entrance of the Court (even though police is employed) and any unknown person can easily enter even if he is not a party or witness to any case.
Accordingly, she has suggested that there should be security arrangements at three places generally – one at entry level, other at the parking lot and third at the Court Rooms. Courts should have airport style security at the entrance to prevent unauthorised items being taken into the court premises. An entry-pass System should be implemented in the District Courts on the footsteps of the system deployed in Delhi High Court. There must be fixed Entry and Exit points in all the Courts. Attempts should be made to identify all persons entering the premises of the Courts, where advocates can play a considerable role in issuing letter to their clients so that unknown persons can be refrained from entering. The officials should make sure that each visitor shows his/her ID Card like Aadhar, Driver's license before entering the Court.
The petition suggests creation of a Command Centre and Security Committee to exercise oversight and sustain matters related to security within the court building and to properly assess and address the myriad of security challenges.
"In order to protect the integrity of our judicial system, there must be a feeling of security established for the people visiting and working at the courts. Security is not a one-time achievement. It is a serious and continuous goal and requires constant vigilance. Further, it must be a number one priority every single day for all those interested and involved in the process", it says.
It was on June 12 that Yadav was shot dead by her lawyer colleague Manish Sharma. As per eyewitness accounts, Manish Sharma, opened three rounds of fire at Yadav at Agra Court premises, killing her on spot. After the attack, he fired a shot at himself.
Ten days later, Sharma succumbed to his injuries at a Gurugram hospital.
Last March, a lawyer was shot dead in a court campus in Basti district in UP.