Issue of security in Delhi's district courts urgent: HC

Issue of security in Delhi's district courts urgent: HC says in wake of Rohini court shootout

The police informed the court that it was taking steps to ensure that the security in district courts is geared up adequately

Security beefed up at Rohini Court after the shooting incident. Credit: PTI File Photo

The Delhi High Court Tuesday said the issue of security in district courts of the national capital is “urgent” as lawyers too may become victims of incidents such as the Rohini court shootout which left three people dead.

The high court asked the police to file a status report on a plea seeking to ensure adequate security in district courts here in the wake of recent shootout inside the crowded Rohini courtroom.

Justice Rekha Palli issued notice to Delhi Police and Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) on the petition filed by a woman advocate and said the report be filed within five days.

“This is something urgent. We don’t want to lose lives. Lawyers could also become victims of incidents like this one. We don’t want that,” the court said and listed the matter for further hearing on October 11.

Read | Rohini court shootout: HC asks police to file status report on plea to enhance security in district courts

The police informed the court that it was taking steps to ensure that the security in district courts is geared up adequately.

Advocate Robin Raju, appearing for petitioner Deepa Joseph, said the woman advocate was relatively new to the profession and soon after the firing incident, videos and photos were circulated on social media which had a jolting impact.

Advocate Ajayinder Sangwan, representing the BCD, informed the court that they had a detailed meeting with senior police officers and it was agreed that the security at district courts would be upgraded to be at par with that at the Supreme Court.

Delhi government standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi assured the court that the police has been taking steps to ensure adequate security at district courts.

The petitioner-advocate said in her plea that she has been practising in various Delhi courts which have become unsafe and an easy terrain for gangsters to settle scores with each other, making courts unsafe for thousands of lawyers.

Also Read | Rohini court shootout: Assailants had planned to surrender after killing gangster, say sources

“It is also painful that a young legal professional has also got severely injured in the scary incident. This shootout inside the court again puts a big question mark on the safety and security of judges, lawyers and litigants inside the district courts in Delhi,” the plea said.

It sought direction to Delhi Police and BCD to consider instructing all police personnel at court entrances to ensure that they check the ID cards of every lawyer who enters the premises.

It also sought that Delhi Police make the level of security and frisking of lawyers at par with the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court and to take disciplinary action against the officers who fail to implement this direction with utmost diligence and seriousness.

The plea, moved through lawyer Blessan Mathews, said the BCD be asked to issue an advisory to all the District Bar Associations in Delhi to recommend members of their bar to cooperate with police personnel at the main entrance of 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 N V Ramana expressed deep concern over the shootout inside the crowded Rohini courtroom and spoke to the Delhi High Court Chief Justice and advised him to talk to both police and the Bar to ensure that the functioning of the court is not affected.

Witnesses had said a law intern has also sustained bullet injury in her leg and some also claimed that the gang members pumped 10 bullets into Gogi, one of Delhi's most wanted criminals.

Sources had said Gogi received about seven bullet injuries, even as there was no official confirmation from police on this.

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