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Put all courts on alert in J&K, Ladakh: Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court in Srinagar. File

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court in Srinagar. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Jammu & Kashmir High Court Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Judge Rajesh Bindal on Wednesday sought upgradation of security at all court premises in the Union Territories (UTs) of J&K and Ladakh, including district courts, in the wake of threats from militants and strike calls by lawyers.

The judges also asserted that “the J&K police was unable to control the situation and need to be replaced by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)”.

Taking suo motu cognisance of the current security apparatus at the courts, including in the twin High Court complexes of Srinagar and Jammu, Justices Mittal and Bindal observed: “Earlier order of the Ministry of Home Affairs dated May 31, 2007, has not been paid any heed in J&K. As per these guidelines, the High Courts had to be declared as high security zones.”

The judges issued fresh notices to Commissioner Secretary, Department of Home in J&K, and Union Home ministry “to declare the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and district courts as high security zones”.

Censuring the local police, the judges suggested they were experiencing “an unusual and very serious situation”.

“It’s manifest that the local police is unable to manage the situation and should be replaced by CRPF...To our utter chagrin and dismay, the local police is either reluctant to engage with the lawyers or is not able to control the situation,” the judges noted, while referring to the strike call and hindrances created by Jammu-based lawyers in the past one month over the issue of creation of a new wing to register revenue records.

Referring to threatening posters by militants that appeared in the court complex in Srinagar after August 5, the judges observed, “On September 7, posters threatening suicide attacks on the judiciary were pasted with impunity in the Srinagar court complex”.

“Urgent steps need to be taken to ensure security of all courts in the UTs. Equally imperative is the assurance of free access to courts for all citizens at all times,” the judges underlined.

Separately, the court issued a show cause notice to striking lawyers in Jammu, saying: “Obstructing access to court is unpardonable.”

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 7:32:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/declare-all-court-complexes-high-security-zones-replace-jk-police-hc-chief-justice/article30279882.ece

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