Supreme Court put on security alert

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Legal Correspondent

Chief Justice has imposed entry regulations

Frisking in high security zone

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has been put on high security alert following an increased perception of threat to high profile buildings in the capital.

Following the May 19 bomb blast at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan issued a circular imposing regulations/restrictions on entry into the court complex with effect from Monday, May 21. The court has planned to install shortly closed-circuit television to monitor the movement of vehicles and persons.

Bar plea

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Tuesday requested Secretary-General V.K. Jain to defer the implementation of the regulations at least till after the May 28 meeting of its executive committee meeting. At the meeting with him, the SCBA office-bearers pleaded that production of identity cards of the members and other advocates appearing before vacation courts be not insisted on. Mr. Jain agreed to look into the matter so that no inconvenience was caused to members of the Bar.

According to the circular, only vehicles with approved parking stickers for the current year issued by the SCBA and countersigned by the court Registry or the stickers issued by the Registry will be allowed to enter the premises. The sticker, containing the registration number of the vehicle, shall be prominently displayed on it.

Security personnel will use an inverted mirror for checking vehicles at the time of their entry. Advocates in robes or otherwise, registered/authorised clerks of advocates, court employees and employees of the other offices functioning on the court premises must show their identity cards or a visitor's pass issued by the Registry to enter the high security zone (HSZ). All others will have to obtain a visitor's pass for entry into the premises upon proper identification.

All persons, other than advocates in robes and displaying or showing their identity cards, will be subjected to search and frisking at the HSZ entry point. Barring open files/briefs carried by an advocate, all bundles/briefcases/bags/files, books, etc, will be scanned by an X-ray machine before being allowed into the HSZ. Cameras and mobile phones shall not be brought inside the courtrooms.

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