The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked the Union Home Ministry to urgently consider deploying the central armed police force for securing both its wings and district courts in the newly created union territory.
Taking suo moto cognisance of some incidents in Jammu and Srinagar wings of the high court over the past few months, a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal issued notice to the government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Centre on the issue of security.
The court also sought details of all circulars issued by the Union Home Ministry to Jammu and Kashmir on declaring both wings of the high court and district courts in the union territory as “high security zones”.
The bench in the notice also asked the Home Ministry to urgently consider the deployment of a central armed police force to provide security to both wings of the High Court as well as the district courts in the union territory.
Making some severe observations, the bench said, “Unfortunately, in this court, we are experiencing an unusual and very serious situation.”
Taking note of the Jammu Bar Association abstaining from work, the court said the reports from district judges in Jammu province showed that the call for abstention has been used by certain unruly elements to not only abstain from work but indulge in illegal activities to the extent of attempting to block the high court’s main gate.
The court observed that there were repeated attempts to physically lock the main gate of the district court building in Jammu.
“We stand informed that the furniture has been moved in an effort to block access to court rooms in the high court.
“None of these acts are tolerable. 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,” it added.
The bench also brought on record a threatening poster which had appeared in the precincts of the Srinagar wing on September 7.
“We are constrained to notice one more extremely significant incident.
On September 7, posters threatening suicide attacks on the judiciary were pasted with impunity in the Srinagar wing of the high court,” the court said.
In order to inculcate confidence and to ensure that there was no disruption in the justice dispensation system, the court observed that it was completely dependent on local police which was tasked with providing security to the courts.
However, the turn of events in high court and district courts in the recent past has manifested the inability of the police to ensure discipline and security which must be maintained in all judicial precincts, it added.
“We are, therefore, of the view that similar deployment of central armed police force should be urgently made in respect of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and all district courts in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” the division bench observed.