Security of U.P. district courts under scanner again - Hindustan Times
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Security of U.P. district courts under scanner again

By, Lucknow
Jun 01, 2024 10:54 PM IST

Security concerns resurface at a district court as a man enters with a firearm, highlighting lapses. Calls for enhanced security measures in court campuses.

The security issue of the district court campus in the heart of the city has once again cropped up after a man managed to enter the court premises with a firearm.

For representation only (HT File Photo)
For representation only (HT File Photo)

This glaring lapse in court’s security on Friday took place almost after a year of shootout in the courtroom on June 7, 2023, in which gangster Sanjeev Maheswari ‘Jeeva’ was shot dead.

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The sensational shootout took place during the hearing of the late BJP leader Brahma Dutt Dwivedi’s murder case in which Maheshwari was an accused.

After the incident, the security of district courts was beefed up across the state. However, it seems as time has passed, the security scenario is back to square one in district court in the state capital.

Former president of the Central Bar Association of the district court Sunil Dwivedi on Saturday took up the issue with district judge Ashwani Tripathi.

“I met the district judge today and apprised him about the lapse in court’s security. He also expressed concern over the issue. The issue will be taken up with the district administration,” said advocate Sunil Dwivedi.

“All eight DFMDs installed at the entry gates of the district court are not working. They have turned showpieces. How can a person enter the court campus carrying a firearm? This is only possible due to security lapse,” added Dwivedi.

The Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh will also take up the issue of security in district courts with the state government.

“Security of district courts across the state need overhaul review and complete revamp,” said advocate Rohit Kant.

A section of lawyers also feel that without restricting entry of litigants security of district courts cannot be made foolproof.

High court like security needed

Lawyers are demanding high court-like security at the district court campus.

The Uttar Pradesh police and the CRPF are in-charge of the Lucknow high court’s security.

Entry and exit of lawyers is from gate number six that is properly manned by cops. Without producing an identity card issued by the Oudh Bar Council of the high court no one can enter the court campus.

Security personnel present at gate number six have the right to ask for ID proof from any lawyer entering the court.

Inside the high court campus, CRPF is in-charge of security.

In this year’s budget, the state government has allocated 100 crore for installing CCTV cameras and other security equipment in district courts across the state as part of beefing up security at court campuses.

Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force

The Yogi Adityanath government has constituted Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force (UPSSF), a specialised dedicated security force, for security at district courts across the state.

It was constituted after the sensational killing of a double murder accused in a courtroom in Bijnor district before chief judicial magistrate on December 17, 2019.

The force is yet to be deployed in all district courts across the state.

Biometric smart card system yet to be implemented

The state government has proposed a biometric-based smart card system for entry of lawyers in district courts.

The move is aimed at ensuring security of district courts across the state.

The pilot project will be introduced in district courts of Lucknow and Azamgarh. Thereafter, it will be implemented in other district courts in a phased manner.

The smart cards will be issued to genuine lawyers and are regular visitors to courts. This would help in keeping out unwanted elements from courts.

“Without restricting entry of litigants in district courts, security of court campuses cannot be ensured,” said Gyan Singh Chauhan, senior advocate, Lucknow high court.

The demand for the special security force in court campuses mooted time and again.

Serial court blasts on November 23, 2007

Blasts rocked district court campuses in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad, which is now Ayodhya.

After these blasts it was for the first time that a proposal for special security arrangements for district courts across the state was proposed.

However, till date the proposal is yet to be implemented even after a series of incidents in court campuses across the state.

First woman chairman of Bar Council of UP shot dead

After the sensational killing of the first woman chairman of Bar Council of UP, Darvesh Yadav, on the Agra district court campus on June 12, 2019, once again voices were raised for deploying the special security force in court campuses.

Advocate Jagnarayan Yadav shot dead in Basti district court

Advocate Jagnarayan Yadav, 63, was shot dead inside the court campus in Basti district on February 28, 2019.

After this incident once again lawyers’ bodies across the state demanded special security arrangements in district courts across the state.

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