Mixed response to Central security

Madras HC Association opposes the move, while TN Advocates Association welcomes it

November 01, 2015 12:00 am | Updated November 17, 2021 02:13 am IST - CHENNAI:

The Madras High Court campus is guarded by over 200 State police personnel lead by an Assistant Commissioner of Police. Among them 132 are armed. Besides, there is a 10-member Special Squad.— Photo: M. Moorthy

The Madras High Court campus is guarded by over 200 State police personnel lead by an Assistant Commissioner of Police. Among them 132 are armed. Besides, there is a 10-member Special Squad.— Photo: M. Moorthy

The Madras High Court’s latest direction setting a November 16 deadline for its campus here to come under a CISF security blanket, a move that will likely turn the premises into a virtual fortress, has evoked mixed response among the legal fraternity.

The First Bench of the court in its order dated October 30 had said that numerous incidents had occurred since the last six years and the police had not been able to control the situation. Some advocates, however, contend that the move is unnecessary as it would give rise to many more issues.

In an early response shortly after the First Bench of the Madras High court pronounced its order directing the State and Central governments to provide CISF security to its campus, R.C. Paul Kanagaraj, president, Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) said, “We welcome the decision to improve the security to the campus. But we completely oppose the move to deploy CISF for the purpose. We have already informed the court that we are ready to provide an undertaking that we will cooperate with the State police.”

The association also apprehended that the language barrier between the CISF personnel and the local advocates would lead to more issues.

But in contrast, the Tamil Nadu Advocates Association (TNAA) whole-heartedly welcomes the move to bring in the CISF.

“We welcome the direction. There is no need for confrontation with the CISF personnel. They will be here to provide security and we are here to discharge our legal profession, so there is no scope for the apprehension that the language barrier would create any problem,” S. Prabakaran, TNAA president, says.

Some lawyers feel making the State government pay Rs. 16 crore in advance for CISF deployment for six months is an unwanted expenditure. However, Mr. Prabakaran disagrees. “Can we blame spending for national security as unnecessary? Providing security to the 150-year-old chartered high court is also of equal importance. When it comes to the security of the institution, such expenses cannot be deemed unnecessary.”

Holding the advocate community responsible for the present situation, K. Santhakumari, president, Tamil Nadu Federation of Women Lawyers, says, “It is only because of the unruly behaviour of a section of advocates that we are facing the present situation.”

However, asked whether the association welcomes the direction, she said, “Since it has come, we need to support it,” and added that “at least now they (a section of advocates) should develop civic sense and discipline.”

She also agreed with view that the CISF personnel’s inability to communicate in the local language might create issues.

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