The need for security forces for the protection of Judicial authority holders: BCI urges SC

BY:DEVANSHI SRIVASTAVA

The Indian Bar Association has proposed that a Judicial Security Service be established in the Supreme Court of India, as well as in the High Courts and lower courts.

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has petitioned the Supreme Court to use its powers under Article 146 of the Constitution in order to establish a specialised security force for the protection of judges and lawyers in the higher and subordinate courts in the country.

Against this backdrop of violent incidents inside courthouses, including clashes between police and lawyers at Delhi’s Tis Hazari Court in 2019 and the shooting death of the first female Chairperson of the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh inside an Agra courthouse, an affidavit was filed on behalf of the BCI in support of a petition filed in the Supreme Court of India.

According to the BCI,

“Threats, extortion, harassment, and violent assaults against our judicial system have been more frequent in recent years. In such circumstances, the autonomous operation of the whole judicial administration system (JAS) is jeopardised, and the efficacy of its judgments, which are devoid of prejudice, pressure, and intimidation, is jeopardised as well. Many of these assaults are targeted at the most susceptible and least defended parts of the system, notably the district and sessions courts.. This part requires the development of a fool-proof security system in order to provide the required structure and protective umbrella.”

As previously mentioned, a specialised security system already exists in the shape of the Parliament Security Service of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha Secretariat, which is in charge of overseeing the security setup inside the Parliament House Complex.

According to the BCI, a Judicial Security Service may be established in the Supreme Court of India, as well as in the High Courts and lower courts.

As stated in the affidavit, “a plan can be envisaged to provide the court campus with a Special Jurisdiction Police force because the local police who provide security to the District Trial Courts are not equipped with the arms and are not trained to handle the Court security and there is a conflict of interest.”

According to the BCI’s affidavit, in order to guarantee effective execution of the requirements of Article 50 of the Constitution, a “special/dedicated security system” for the judiciary is required in order to safeguard its interests.

The BCI has also recommended that there may be unarmed security officers stationed inside each court hall as an additional precaution.

The recommendation from the BCI states that court security personnel should be specifically educated to deal with a variety of circumstances and should be thoroughly conversant with the appropriate functioning of the judicial system in general.

According to the attorneys’ organisation, a draught Advocates Protection Bill has been developed, which suggests steps to guarantee the safety of advocates in the nation, among other things. The draught has been developed in collaboration with all state bar associations and other interested parties, and it has been submitted to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice for consideration.

The subject of judicial security recently came back into the limelight after the death of a judge in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, who was struck by a car.

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