CISF can be asked to guard Tis Hazari court on lines of Madras HC, suggests ex-CJI KG Balakrishnan

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Published: November 6, 2019 8:43:38 AM

The Tis Hazari court complex's security can be handed over to the CISF on the lines of the Madras High Court, which saw a clash between lawyers and police a few years ago, former Chief Justice of India Justice K G Balakrishnan suggested on Tuesday.

Multiple CCTV footage, purportedly of the Saturday incident, showed the intensity of the violence that took place in the court lockup. (Express photo: Praveen Khanna)

The Tis Hazari court complex’s security can be handed over to the CISF on the lines of the Madras High Court, which saw a clash between lawyers and police a few years ago, former Chief Justice of India Justice K G Balakrishnan suggested on Tuesday. His comments came after clashes between police and lawyers at the Tis Hazari court complex on Saturday left at least 20 police personnel and several lawyers injured.

The Madras High Court is guarded by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) after there was a clash between police and advocates a few years ago wherein even some judicial officers were attacked, Balakrishnan said, suggesting that this may also be done for the Tis Hazari complex.

The 25000-strong CISF guards vital installations including airports and the Delhi Metro. “It is for the Delhi High Court chief justice and other judges to decide how to protect the courts in the interest of the judicial system. We have to take some urgent steps,” he said. On the clashes, Balakrishnan said that “by and large lawyers are good, but when they are in a group, some of them might turn violent, we don’t know”.

He said a good lawyer in the court room might react differently outside. Senior police officers and senior advocates should immediately intervene and nip in the bud any police-lawyer conflicts. “When something goes wrong they should remedy the situation and not allow it to aggravate”, the former CJI suggested. Justice Balakrishnan felt that young lawyers “might react differently to a situation”.

The police should be extremely careful on the Tis Hazari premises where nearly 200 courts function with a large number of people, witnesses, police personnel, lawyers and litigants assemble every day, he said.

Balakrishnan said that “anything can go out of control there, you can’t find such a large number of people assembling in any other court in the world”. In protest of the Tis Hazari incident and another incident at the Saket court, Delhi Police personnel held an 11-hour agitation at the police headquarters on Tuesday which was called off after intervention of their seniors. “They (police) are also a group of people who will react if there is some sort of assault on them.

They are from a disciplined force and they are not supposed to react like that. They may be thinking that they are at the receiving end,” Balakrishnan said. Retired Supreme Court Judge Justice B N Srikrishna said nobody should take law into their hands. “We all know how the police behaves in the country. But lawyers too should not behave like that,” he said.

“If somebody does a wrong, we can’t take the law into our hands and react. Otherwise there will be total chaos in the country. To my mind doing this sort of this things by lawyers (attacking cops) is not correct,” Srikrishna said. He said he was “shocked to see a lawyer attacking a police constable on bike in the Saket court”. “How can he do this?” Srikrishna wondered.

Justice Srikrishna said he assumes that the “police were wrong and have done something atrocious. If there was any issue it should be taken up with the authorities concerned”.

“Tell the magistrate, the high court, or the supreme court. They will resolve it,” he said. When told that it all started with a parking issue between an advocate and a constable at Tis Hazari court, Srikrishna pointed out that “parking issue is something that the police is entitled to enforce”.

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