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HC judges differ over ID proof need for litigants

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 05, 2013
First Published: 23:35 IST(5/5/2013) | Last Updated: 23:37 IST(5/5/2013)

Two judges of the Delhi High Court have aired different opinions over the issue of denial of entry of litigants to the courtrooms due to absence of identity proof.

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While Justice Gita Mittal, of the two-judge bench, has in a Friday order asked for the setting up of an expert committee to look into the issue, the other judge JR Midha is said to have disagreed with her opinion. However, Midha's judgment is to be delivered yet.

"I have received the order proposed by my learned brother disagreeing with my opinion this morning. I have not had a chance to glance through the same. It is necessary to clarify some aspects of the matter raised therein which I proceed to record hereafter," Justice Mittal, who headed the bench, said on Friday.

"In any event, looked at from any angle, the issue deserves priority attention - both judicial (because we have differed on whether the measure impacts access to justice) and administrative - which I am positive, irrespective of the judicial view taken, will be given," she said.

Noting that security measures are inextricably connected with disaster concerns, she said a comprehensive evaluation plan is required and hence had directed for the setting up of an expert committee.

"Denying entry to a litigant to the court premises is barrier to access to justice. Restricting public access to courts and imposition of identification or documentation requirements on litigants represent barriers to access to justice," Justice Mittal said.


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