Former Delhi high court Chief Justice AP Shah on Wednesday said the terror attack on the main entry gate of the court is a “disturbing new phenomenon”. He put the onus of ensuring security in courts across the country on the government.
“In the past, courts were not specific terror targets; it is a disturbing new development and I am more worried about district and lower courts, given the public rush there,” Justice Shah told Hindustan Times.
He said security arrangement at Delhi high court was regularly reviewed but something “obviously” went wrong on Wednesday.
He had served as Chief Justice for two years there before retiring in February last year. “I recall enhancement of security in the court complex and around it being discussed in some meetings attended by me with the police, and also the representatives of lawyers' organisations,” he said.
Justice Shah said though he agreed that the high court has a monitoring role, the primary responsibility was of the police and the government. “We don’t have the technical expertise and judges have no control over funds, therefore it is the responsibility of the state,” he said.
The former Chief Justice said in his view following the “terrible incident” the high court must now play a proactive role in ensuring its own security. “Though we (judges) are not security experts, new situations demand new response and we must take the police to task, since prevention is better than cure,” Justice Shah said.
“The nature of security required, where new gadgets are to be installed and the number of personnel required to guard the court complex and its surroundings, is the government’s responsibility,” he said.