The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said it will pass directions to ensure safety and security in courts which will remain in force till April 18.
A bench headed by Chief Justice DN Patel, which was hearing its suo motu case concerning the September 24 shootout which killed three people in a courtroom at Rohini Court, stated that it would incorporate as directions its earlier suggestions on strictly regulating ingress in judicial complexes by deploying an appropriate number of personnel and devices based on a security audit.
The bench, also comprising Justice Jyoti Singh, said it will take up the matter in April again to review the directions and asked the Bar to cooperate in the meantime.
“The directions can be amended later on if there is any difficulty in execution. I am adjourning this matter… Changes can’t be made every 15 days (and) it can’t be a superfluous difficulty. Directions will remain in force till April 18,” the Chief Justice said.
“There is checking at airports also… All should cooperate. There is bound to be checking. Let us cooperate with the cumbersome process for some time,” he added.
The court also asked the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) to ensure that it issues passes for entry of cars belonging to its members inside the high court premises.
Senior advocate and DHCBA President Mohit Mathur asked the court to allow the association to issue cards to members for entry inside the high court.
On November 8, the court had said that it expected full cooperation of Delhi government, city police and lawyers in matters of safety and security in courts and suggested a slew of directions that could be issued.
It had proposed that the city government should be accountable for allocation of budget for the purchase of security devices and since police have the expertise, such devices should be purchased by them under intimation to the government and the court.
The court had said that based on the suggestions received from Delhi police and various lawyers’ bodies, it made its own “short summary” which may be put into practice.
Police Commissioner would put together a team of experts for a security audit of courts and then deploy an appropriate number of personnel, the court had said. Besides, it had stated that the entry of all, including advocates, would be subject to frisking which is quick and efficient and going through metal detectors, and no baggage be allowed inside courts without scanning.
The court had also suggested placing all court complexes under round-the-clock CCTV monitoring, issuing “stickers” to vehicles that may be permitted entry inside a court complex and installing under vehicle scanning system as well as automated gates to tackle crowd.
The court had further said that the Bar Council of Delhi should devise a mechanism to issue non-transferable identity cards having a QR-code or a chip to lawyers.
It had also said that wherever possible, high-risk undertrials should be produced virtually or else, in vulnerable witness rooms or in jails themselves. Earlier, the Delhi police had told that it has installed more metal detectors in all the seven district courts here — Tis Hazari, Rohini, Karkardooma, Saket, Patiala, Dwarka and Rouse Avenue.
It had suggested that the use of technology should be maximized to reduce physical presence of parties in all the seven district courts here and updated security gadgets be installed there to obviate security concerns.
The high court had on September 30 initiated on its own a petition concerning security at courts in the national capital following the shootout, saying there was a need for proper and effective deployment of a sufficient number of police personnel in courts.
Jailed gangster Jitendra Gogi and his two assailants posing as lawyers were killed inside the Rohini courtroom on September 24 in a dramatic shootout that also saw the police fire bullets in retaliation, the officials had said.
Video footage of the incident showed policemen and lawyers rushing out in panic as gunshots rang out inside courtroom number 207.
The two gunmen dressed as lawyers are suspected to be members of rival Tillu gang, an official had said, adding that over 30 shots were fired.
On September 24, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana had expressed deep concern over the shootout inside the crowded Rohini courtroom and spoke to the Delhi High Court Chief Justice in this regard and advised him to talk to both police and the Bar to ensure that the functioning of the court is not affected.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)