J&K HC asks MHA to deploy central police for court security

The bench in the notice asked the Home Ministry to urgently consider the deployment of a central armed police force to provide security to both wings of the High Court. File Photo.

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked the Union Home Ministry to urgently consider deploying the central armed police force for securing both its wings and district courts in the newly created Union territory.

Taking suo moto cognisance of some incidents in Jammu and Srinagar wings of the high court over the past few months, a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal issued notice to the government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Centre on the issue of security.

“Given the above narration and threats to not only justice dispensation but actions which may imperil lives of persons accessing the court as also the public property in the nature of court infrastructure, clearly the local police may not be able to provide the requisite protection,” the order reads.

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The bench in the notice also asked the Home Ministry to urgently consider the deployment of a central armed police force to provide security to both wings of the High Court as well as the district courts in the union territory.

“We are of the view that similar deployment of a Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) should be urgently made in respect of the J&K high court and all district courts in the Union territory of J&K,” the order said.

The court observed that a possible militant attack posed an imminent security threat to judiciary. “On September 7, 2019 posters threatening suicide attacks on the judiciary pasted with impunity in the Srinagar Wing of the high court. In view of the threat contained therein, intimation thereof was immediately sent to Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India,” the Court said.

The court noted that it was the responsibility of “this court to ensure effective and fair justice dispensation to the people in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.”

In a separate notice to the secretary of the home ministry, court the Centre to “urgently consider the factual narration” from the perspective of deployment of a CAPF to provide security to both wings of the High Court in Jammu and Srinagar as well as District Courts in UT of J&K.

Meanwhile, in relation to the ongoing protests of lawyers in Jammu over transfer of powers to register documents from judicial to revenue officials, as part of Central rules that now apply to the Union Territory, the Bench observed the turn of events in several high courts and district courts in the recent past has manifested the inability of the local police to ensure discipline and security which must be maintained in all judicial precincts, its reluctance to engage with lawyers.

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