In wake of the shootout inside Rohini court in Delhi, a plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Centre and the states to take immediate steps to ensure security in subordinate courts. The shootout inside the district court on Friday left three gangsters dead, while a law intern was injured.
Following the incident, an application was filed in the SC by advocate Vishal Tiwari, while another lawyer Deepa Joseph also moved the Delhi Court, seeking direction to authorities to take necessary measure to ensure safety and security of district courts in the national capital.
WHAT IS ROHINI COURT SHOOTOUT CASE?
On Friday, jailed gangster Jitendra Maan alias Gogi was killed in a shootout inside Rohini courtroom. His two assailants of a rival gang who were posing as lawyers were killed when police fires bullets in retaliation. Around 35-40 rounds were fired during the incident.
After the incident, lawyers’ bodies in Delhi demanded a probe into the shootout and called for abstaining from work on Saturday, demanding enhanced security norms inside all the seven district courts premises in the national capital.
Chief Justice of India N V Ramana also expressed deep concern over the shootout inside the crowded courtroom and spoken to the Delhi High Court Chief Justice D N Patel in this regard, a SC official had said.
WHAT DO THE PLEAS SAY?
The application by Vishal Tiwari has been filed in the SC in a pending plea which raised the issue of safety and security of judicial officers and advocates while referring to the hit-and-run case leading to the death of Dhanbad district and sessions judge Uttam Anand on July 28 in Jharkhand.
Referring to Friday’s shootout, the plea states, “Such incidents are not only threat to our judicial officers, lawyers and people present in the court premises but it is also a threat to our justice system.”
The applicant said that apart from securing the judges against any threat, it is also important that court premises are secured against any attack by militants or other criminals.
The plea further added that a huge crowd is seen in court complexes and security becomes vulnerable if adequate measures are not in place.
WHAT SECURITY MEASURES CAN BE TAKEN?
The plea suggests that gangsters and hardcore criminals may be produced from jails through video-conferencing before the trial court instead of producing them physically.
The application has also sought directions for the installation of CCTV cameras and the setting up of armed police posts in district court premises across the country.
Referring to several past incidents which had happened in district court premises, the application said that unwanted persons should not be permitted inside the court premises.
Meanwhile, the plea by Deepa Joseph in the high court has sought a direction to the Delhi Police and the Bar Council of Delhi to ensure posting of police personnel to check the ID cards of every lawyer who enters the court premises.
It also sought raising of security at court premised by the Delhi Police and to ensure frisking level of lawyers at par with the SC and Delhi HC. It also suggested disciplinary action against the officers who fail to implement the direction with utmost diligence and seriousness.
WHAT DO DELHI LAWYERS SAY ABOUT THE SHOOTOUT?
Following the incident, senior advocate Rajiv Tehlan said that constant vigilance should be maintained and ID cards of all office bearers, lawyers, and other staff entering the court should be checked. He also clarified that the security measures should not go lax after a few days.
Rajesh Kumar Singh, a senior advocate of Tis Hazari Court, said that if this incident had taken place on an ordinary day, a lot of lawyers could have been present inside the premises. He further added that if the security system of the court remains weak, a terror incident can take place at anytime. Rajesh Kumar said that because of these concerns, everyone has demanded protection of lawyers as well as judges and those present inside the court premises.
Advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha said that lawyers are not checked in the court every day, so there is a fear that someone in the guise of a lawyer may carry out a terror incident.
Meanwhile, Saket court lawyer Prem Joshi, commended the Delhi Police for their quick reaction in neutralising the attackers or else the incident would have become serious. He added that after the Rohini court incident, the security of the court campus should be reviewed again so that such incidents do not happen in future
WHAT HAS BEEN DELHI POLICE’S RESPONSE?
Delhi Police had said the incident happened around 1.15 PM when Gogi, who was allegedly involved in over 30 heinous crimes, was taken to the courtroom for a hearing. The armed assailants were already seated before Gogi entered the courtroom.
The two assailants are suspected to be members of the rival Tillu gang, an official had said, adding that over 30 shots were fired.
The case was transferred to Crime Branch for further investigation.
“The case has been transferred to the crime branch for a thorough investigation, to find out why such an incident happened,” Delhi Commissioner of Police Rakesh Asthana said.
On Saturday, Crime branch started its probe into the case and visited the crime scene in order to collect evidences. The Crime Branch also recreated the shootout scene to investigate the case from all angles.
(With input from PTI)