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Citizens have the right to adequate security in courts across the country, states a petition filed in the Supreme Court seeking uniform guidelines for security measures in all courts.
The petition filed by advocate Kirti Ahuja says that the plea has been made in furtherance of the right to life and safe environment guaranteed to the citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The issue requires immediate intervention of the Supreme Court, the petitioner has submitted.
“The adjudication in this Petition is concerned with the protection of life and liberty of people and property. This is a public interest petition seeking arrangement and enhancement of security measures in the district trial courts as well as in High Courts of the country.”
Besides prayer for uniform guidelines for the security measures in courts, the petitioner has also sought directions to the Centre and States to implement those guidelines. The guidelines are sought to be issued after seeking a report from the authorities on the prevalent security arrangements in District, Taluka and High Courts.
To paint a picture of the existing conditions of security measures in courts across the country, Ahuja has detailed twenty-three instances of attacks that took place in various District and High Courts in the last ten years, the latest incident being the murder of UP Bar Council’s first woman President, Darvesh Yadav. The other incidents of attacks have been against advocates, policemen, undertrial prisoners, accused persons, witnesses, and others visiting the Courts.
Violent incidents and attacks in Court premises have instilled a sense of fear among advocates, the petition avers, adding that such incidents abrogate the right to life and security of the people coming to Courts.
Advocating the need for security measures, the petitioner says that security of those working at and visiting the courts is essential for maintaining the integrity of the judicial system.
“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.”
While making a case for the need for enhanced security in courts, the petitioner has also made certain recommendations like bringing security measures in District Courts at par with those at High Courts, three level security deployment, installation of CCTV cameras, metal detectors etc., fixed entry and exit points, entry pass system for visitors in Court, and deployment of a highly trained workforce in Courts, among other things.