The Center on 17th August 2021 told the Hon’ble Supreme Court that it would not be “feasible” and “advisable” to have a national security force such as the CISF to guard the judges across the country.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court, which was hearing a suo motu case involving the safety of the judges and lawyers across the country, was irked because many states such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Jharkhand hadn’t submitted their responses following the Supreme Court’s order to do so.
The bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Justice Aniruddha Bose granted a week’s time to these states to submit their responses outlining the steps taken to ensure the safety of the judges failing which a fine of Rs 1 lakh would be imposed on them.
The apex court also made The Bar Council of India a party to the matter and asked to submit its response regarding the same.
Earlier, Tushar Mehta- solicitor general, who appeared for the center, said the issue of the judges’ safety was in fact “a very serious issue”.
Commenting on the response of the center, he said there was a mechanism in place and the Department of Home Affairs, in 2007, had issued guidelines stating that there should be special facilities to look after the security of judges.
The bench further asked whether the center was willing to deploy a force such as the CISF or the Railways Protection Force for judges and judicial officers in the country.
“We have said that it would not be advisable or possible to have a national level security force such as the CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) for the judges instead there is a need to ensure the full implementation of the MHA guidelines by the states and UT” the SG replied.
The bench asked the SG to convene a meeting of all the states and take a decision to resolve the issue.
The Supreme Court also spoke about the “alarming situation” in the country where judges and lawyers are being pressured and intimidated and said there is a need to create an environment where judicial officers would feel safe.
Earlier, on July 30 the Supreme Court had taken a suo motu cognizance of the unfortunate demise of a judge from Jharkhand in a gruesome incident and had asked for a status report within a week from Jharkhand’s chief secretary and DGP on the probe.
Considering the “gravity” of the case, the Supreme Court had also asked the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court to monitor the CBI probe.
The bench added that in view of similar incidents happening across the nation, the issue needed to be considered seriously in order to further scrutinize the issue of judicial protection and the interests of the legal fraternity.