Accused being produced in trial courts will no longer be forced to remove their footwear. The Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the security personnel posted outside trial courts to stop the practice of asking the undertrials to remove their shoes outside the court.
Shaikh Naeem, an accused in the Aurangabad arms haul case, had sent a letter to the high court challenging the ban on footwear in the special court under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.
The high court had converted the letter into a petition and appointed Rebecca Gonsalves as advocate for Naeem.
A division bench of justice AM Khanwilkar and justice AR Joshi has asked the authorities concerned to amend the rule under the Bombay Police Act which would give powers to the security personnel to mandate removal of footwear by accused before entering the court.
On Tuesday, Raja Thakare and A Chimalkar, counsels for the Anti-Terrorism Squad, which is probing the Aurangabad arms haul case, argued that there have been instances where accused have hurled slippers at judges.
Justice Khanwilkar said: “Just because there have been a few instances, it does not mean that you [police] can make it a rule. Uniform practice that is not backed by any law or any order cannot be adopted.”