Supreme Court issues notice in PIL to establish a Specialized Security Force in all Courts

Supreme Court issues notice in PIL to establish a Specialized Security Force in all Courts

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Supreme Court has issued notice in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) calling for the establishment of specialized security forces in all the courts in the country, including Trial and District Courts, to enhance the security and safety in courts.

The notice was issued by a Division Bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari.

The PIL filed by Advocate Durga Dutt pointed out that many anti-social elements were entering into court premises with arms, thereby creating an extremely “insecure atmosphere”. Due to the current inadequate condition of safety in court premises, it has become expedient to improve safety measures in court premises, the PIL states.

The PIL has further adverted to various instances of violence in courts across the nation including the murder of Advocate Darvesh Yadav, the first Chairwoman of the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council in court premises as well the recent Tis Hazari violence at Delhi Court premises.

The petition contends,

“In order to protect the integrity of our Judicial system, there must a feeling of security, safety, life, and liberty established for the people visiting and working at courts. Security is not a one-time achievement. It is a serious and continuous goal and requires constant vigilance. Further, it must be the number one priority every single day for all those interested and involved in the process of the Justice Delivery System.”

The petitioner has argued that the local police are overburdened with work and long working hours, which deteriorates their efficiency. Moreover, the local Police force is neither well equipped with arms nor trained to handle and provide full-proof specialized court security. Therefore, the petitioner emphasizes that the need of the hour to substitute local police with a dedicated security system, which will, in turn, provide full-scale security for all in court premises.

… the Special security Agencies dedicated for the Courts security would be aptly suitable to provide all kinds and round the clock security to the Court complex and preventing unwanted people to enter into Court premises”, it is submitted.

The petitioner envisages that the dedicated security system ought to be unified and identical in all courts. Further, the security persons will have to be well trained in order to be efficient enough to handle court security, witness protection, conduct search and seizures etc. In this regard, the petition states,

The Dedicated Security System for Courts’ security needs to be unified with all India Character and the personnel need to be trained to handle sensitive and specialized job of Court’s security, Courts compound, parking, crowd management, witness protection, protection of child witness, women, most vulnerable and should carry appropriate arms, ammunition and should be expert in search and seizures.” 

The petition also points out that dedicated security for an institution is not novel.  In this regard, the petition touches upon the deployment of specialized Railway Protection Force (RPF) for the protection of Railway property and passengers. The PIL further brings to the attention of the Court that the RPF has the “power to search, arrest, investigate and prosecute”.

Along with this, the petition cites examples of the Supreme Court and the Madras High Court where Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) provides court security.

Besides the above, the PIL also made certain references to incorporate security measures in District Courts on par with that of High Courts. The measures proposed include the introduction of three level security placements, fitting of CCTV cameras, metal detectors, entry pass for visitors etc.

On a related note, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court recently directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to urgently consider deploying the Central Armed Police Force for securing both the wings of the High Court as well as district courts.

[Read Petition here]

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