September 18, 2021

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Security for judges and courts states’ responsibility, says Centre

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Security for judges and courts states’ responsibility, says Centre
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Security for judges and courts states’ responsibility, says Centre
Security for judges and courts states’ responsibility, says Centre

NEW DELHI: The Centre has told the Supreme Court that it is the state governments’ responsibility to provide security to judges and court premises as police and public order are state subjects and it can just issue some guidelines which it has already done.
“Public order and police are covered under List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India and, hence, security to the courts and the judges is within the purview of the States/UTs concerned. However, in order to strengthen the security arrangements in this regard, guidelines have been issued by the MHA…for the security of the high courts and the district/ subordinate courts. The said guidelines, inter-alia, prescribe that the Protection Review Group (PRG), consisting of state spécial branch, intelligence and home departments will undertake periodic review of the security arrangements for the high courts and the district/ subordinate courts as well as the judges,” the Centre said.
As the apex court is examining measures to beef up security of judges after it took suo motu cognisance of the murder of a trial court judge from Jharkhand recently and sought response from states and Centre, the government said that it issued guidelines way back in 2007 as per which specialised unit/branch is required to be created by the states and UTs to look after the security of judges/courts.
The court is also to decide whether a special force on the line of Railway Protection Force be set up under the control of judiciary for protection of judges and court premises on a PIL filed by Karaunakar Mahalik through his advocate Durga Dutt.
“The guidelines issued by MHA mandate that the Protection Review Group (PRG) will undertake review of security arrangements for the HCs and district/ subordinate courts as well as the judges. The registrar general of the respective HCs shall also be invited to PRG meetings when such arrangements are being discussed. The PRG will approve the security measures . The PRG will undertake security review after every 6 months,” the government said in its latest affidavit.
The Centre, in its earlier affidavit, told the court that here was no need to create a dedicated security force for judiciary and contended that a special unit or branch should be formed within the state police for the purpose.

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