BR Kaundal, a retired Himachal Administrative Service (HAS) officer, has said that impartiality and fearlessness were attributes of a good judge but continuity of such attributes required safe and secure working environment too.
"It's a matter of great concern that the Himachal government is oblivious to the issue of safety and security of judicial officers, including district and sessions judges, additional district and sessions judges, chief judicial magistrates (CJM), additional CJMs and judicial magistrates," he said.
He said judicial officials working at the grass root level were the persons who dealt with the cases of common masses at the first instance, confronted criminals, and in the process became cause of irritation to many.
He said the state government should take steps towards safety of judges as cases of threatening and attacking judicial officials had become rampant in the country.
He said according to recent judgment of the Supreme Court, the state governments had been directed to restrict the use of red beacons atop vehicles. But in the recent notification to the state government, the administrative officials were included in the list but judicial officials were denied the same.
"The categorisation of the persons entitled for beacons seems ambiguous. The analysis of words, "constitutional posts" and "emergency duties", should clearly include the judicial officials without a speck of doubt," he said.
"Can judges' security and well-being be jeopardised in the name of lessening the gap between judiciary and public?" he questioned.
He said the state government needed to rethink and revamp their policies in consonance with practical difficulties faced by the judicial officers to provide safe and secure working environment.
"We should not forget that the first requirement for impartiality is fearlessness which can only come by assuring safety measures for the judicial officials," he added.