The Supreme Court has banned the entry of unlabelled vehicles and people without proper I-cards/passes in its premises to beef up security in view of the increased threat perception to high profile buildings following the Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast that claimed several lives.
On the direction of Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan, the Supreme Court Registry issued a circular containing a set of eight security guidelines "in the changed scenario" concerning the security of the Supreme Court Complex.
According to the new guidelines all persons, other than advocates in robes and displaying their I-cards, will be subjected to search and frisking by the security staff at the point of entry into the High Security Zone.
However, the measures announced on May 18, the day Mecca Masjid was targeted, have not gone down well with the lawyers, who objected to the security personnel insisting upon the requirement of I-cards.
In fact, the Supreme Court Bar Association members met Secretary General VK Jain and requested him to defer the implementation of the security guidelines at least till May 28 when the SCBA Executive Committee is scheduled to meet and discuss the issue.
SCBA Honourary Secretary Pareena Swarup said the Secretary General has "agreed to look into the matter so that no inconvenience is caused to the members of the Bar."
In fact, the guidelines had been issued after due discussions and concurrence with the earlier SCBA Executive Committee, she said.
According to the new security guidelines, henceforth only vehicles having approved parking stickers of the current year issued by SCBA and countersigned by the apex court's Registry of parking stickers issued by the Registry will be allowed to enter the court's premises.
The parking sticker bearing the registration number of the vehicle has to be displayed prominently on the front. In case the person obtaining the parking sticker replaces his/her vehicle during the year he/she will have to obtain a new parking sticker of current year for the new vehicle after depositing the mutilated parking sticker of the old vehicle with SCBA. A parking sticker shall not be transferable.
Inverted mirror will invariably be used by the security personnel for thorough checking of vehicles at the time of entry into the Supreme Court premises.
Advocates in robes or otherwise, registered/authorised clerks of advocates, employees of the court and other offices functioning in SC premises must display their I-card or a visitor pass issued by SC Registry to enter into the High Security Zone, the circular said, adding all others will have to obtain visitor passes issued by the SC Registry for entry into the High Security Zone.
Barring open files being carried by an advocate displaying his/her I-card, all bundles/bags/files/books etc being carried by any one will have to be scanned by X-Ray Machines for entry into the High Security Zone.
The DCP Security, Supreme Court has been directed to ensure that all the X-Ray Machines and Door Frame Metal Detectors are always in proper working condition. Further, cameras and mobile phones shall not be brought inside courtrooms, the circular said, adding that all the guidelines, except the one banning entry of unlabeled vehicles which came into force on July 21, came into force on May 21.