Tamil Nadu

Madras High Court extends CISF cover for its Chennai, Madurai premises

Protection may be extended to lower courts

The Madras High Court on Monday extended until further orders the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) cover ordered to be provided to its buildings at the Principal Seat here as well as its Bench in Madurai. It also said, the court’s Security Committee would hold deliberations in the next three months on expanding the cover to all lower courts situated on its campus in Chennai as well as those in Egmore, Saidapet, George Town and other places.

First Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice C. Saravanan passed the order on a suo motu writ petition taken up by the court in September 2015. The judges were confident that by next year, the Security Committee would take an appropriate decision which could thereafter be implemented by the court after directing the State government to bear the expenditure to be incurred for the expansion of CISF cover.

Earlier, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) G. Rajagopalan urged the court to pass orders for deploying the CISF permanently on the High Court campus instead of extending its tenure year after year. He recalled that it was during the tenure of former Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul (now a Supreme Court judge) that the central force was deputed in the court due to various excesses committed by some lawyers in Chennai and Madurai.

Though the State government opposed the move tooth and nail, Justice Kaul remained steadfast in his decision. “This is necessary for a smooth functioning of the High Court as continuance of unsavoury incidents are not only destructive and disrespectful towards the court but affects the very ability of the court to dispense justice. It sets a bad example for other litigants who attend in person and dilutes the authority of the court,” a Bench led by him had observed.

Thereafter, the CISF cover was provided to the High Court buildings alone since October 2015 and it was extended annually by the Division Benches led by former Chief Justices Indira Banerjee as well as Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani. Now that the tenure was to expire on October 31, the ASG wanted the CISF cover to be made permanent and also expanded to all lower courts situated within the High Court campus.

On his part, Advocate General Vijay Narayan did not object to extending the CISF cover for the High Court buildings alone. However, he expressed reservations over expanding the cover to other courts on the campus. He claimed, it would become extremely difficult for litigants to access lawyers’ chambers if the entire campus was brought under the central security force and hence all stakeholders must be heard before taking a decision.

During the hearing on Monday, a couple of independent lawyers, present in the court hall, too argued in favour of extending and expanding the CISF cover but none opposed the move. After hearing them, the Acting Chief Justice stated that it would be better if the Security Committee of the High Court goes into all such issues before making appropriate recommendations.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 12:12:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/madras-high-court-extends-cisf-cover-for-its-chennai-madurai-premises/article29762385.ece

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