Advocates like others should be barred from carrying weapons inside court premises

By Sanjeev Sirohi*

It is most shocking to see that the gang war of different gangs have now reached right up to the court premises itself which are supposed to be the holiest shrfor getting justice. This cannot be taken just lying down and what is most shocking is that such horrifying incidents are happening now on regular basis not just in Bihar or UP but now also right in our national capital that is Delhi itself and Rohini court premises have once again grabbed the limelight for all the wrong reasons! Earlier also as we know Rohini court premises have seen several such incidents happening as was even disclosed in several news channels which is a matter of utmost shame for all of us!

Why is the security always allowed to be compromised in the court premises time and again? Why no steps are taken to improve drastically the security apparatus of the court premises especially of the District Courts where we repeatedly keep on witnessing such incidents in different parts of the country? What larger message is it sending among criminals?

Why should all such men in uniform not be taken to task who allow this worst compromise with security? Why no lesson is learnt repeatedly from past several such incidents which keeps happening time and again right inside court premises as we have seen now also? Why is the security of District Court premises taken so lightly time and again by the police administration?

Security measures of the District Courts must be brought at complete par with those we see at the High Courts where it is not so easy for any one to enter most easily unlike what we see in the District Court premises where it is very easy for anyone to enter without being checked by anyone! There must be three-level security placement, fitting of CCTV cameras, metal detectors etc and also there must be fixed entry and exit points and even advocates must be checked and so also their vehicles before they enter inside so that security is not compromised in the process, fitting of functional CCTV cameras must be made and so there must be metal detectors etc also right at the entry itself! There must be entry pass system for visitors in Court also and deployment of a highly trained workforce in Courts must also be done at the earliest among other things!

As per the initial reports that are pouring in we learn that two individuals were shot dead in a crossfire between the criminals and the police and a young woman lawyer has also been injured by sustaining a bullet in her leg in the melee that followed! It must be underscored here that lack of safety norms in court premises certainly merits prompt implementation of the Advocates Protection Act also! What if the young woman lawyer had sustained more injuries and died?

To put it mildly: Why should the security cover of court premises not beefed up and drastically improved so that a complete mockery is not made of our whole judicial system by the criminals by striking right in the court premises itself as we saw here in the Rohini court premises! It is being widely speculated that the notorious Tillu gang could be behind the gruesome incident and the prime target of the criminals – Jitender Gogi who was himself also a gang leader sustained three bullet wounds and did not survive. All this happened right inside court premises in full view of the Judge also!

The firing took place in Rohini Court outside Court No. 206. Two assailants were also killed by the police personnel present at the scene of crime even though one or two it is reported in media have escaped also. It is estimated that around 35-40 rounds were fired in the court premises.

As per the eye witnesses, the two assailants later identified as Rahul and Mareesh who were found to be part of Tillu and Navin Bali gang who had come dressed in the uniform of lawyers armed fully fired upon Gogi in the court suddenly and the police was caught unprepared! Why is police always caught napping? Why police allows anyone whether it is lawyer or anyone to enter inside court premises with weapons?

Should not the erring police officials be strictly taken to task for it? Why should they be allowed to go away scot free? Why is the security of court premises repeatedly compromised?

Why such most terribly horrifying incidents repeatedly allowed to be perpetrated right inside court premises? Why no lessons are repeatedly learnt from such most condemnable incidents? Why is security of court premises especially of district courts not improved drastically where we see maximum cases being heard more than that of even High Courts?

It is high time lawyers under no circumstances should be ever allowed to go inside the court premises armed with weapons! There can be no gainsaying that the police should not allow even lawyers themselves also under any circumstances to go inside court premises armed with deadly weapons! I have said this hundred times in the past also and again now I am underscoring the same thing that security of court premises should not be allowed to be compromised under any circumstances!

But it seems no one seems to care a damn inspite of repeated such most unfortunate incidents happening right inside court premises violating the supreme sacred sanctity of the courts with impunity! The net result is we again and again get to hear of such horrifying incidents as we saw now in the Rohini court premises! This is what truly I find most despicable, unfortunate and uncalled for which under no circumstances can ever be justified!

Of course, the security in court premises have to drastically improve and this must be done straightaway without wasting any more time from now itself! Why should lawyers be allowed to go inside court premises without being checked? Why should lawyers be allowed to carry weapons with them?

We all witnessed for ourselves how on June 12, 2019 , the first ever newly elected young aged 37 yet very experienced and learned women lawyer Darvesh Yadav, elected on June 9, 2019 as the first woman chairperson of Bar Council of UP, was shot dead inside the Agra District Court by another lawyer named Manish Sharma, thus cutting short her promising and bright career as also her life itself in the most horrifying manner which under no circumstances can ever be justified by anyone! Are advocates above law? Why can’t advocates also just like others also be not barred from carrying weapons inside court premises under any circumstances and if anyone is found to be violating this then most strictest action should be taken against him/her in accordance with the law?

What a spectacle was created that UP Bar Council which is the biggest Bar Council in the world with maximum members in the world as claimed in the website of the UP Bar Council itself that none other than the Chairperson of UP Bar Council – Darvesh Yadav was shot dead by pouring bullets on her right inside court premises thus cutting short her most bright and promising life and career for no fault of hers! Why is anyone whether it is advocate or anyone else ever allowed to carry weapon right inside the court premises itself? Why is the security of the court premises allowed to be held to ransom by the police? Should they still not be held accountable?

It is high time and now a strict law must be enacted whereby no advocate or anyone else under any circumstances should ever be allowed to carry weapons or bullets inside the court premises under any circumstances as this directly compromises with the security of the court premises which can never be permitted to happen under any circumstances! If this is done most strictly and even advocates should be allowed to go inside only after strict checking then such dastardly incidents can certainly be avoided easily which is the crying need of the hour also! Why should advocates be allowed to go inside court armed with weapons?

What an irony that our police as also our judiciary learns nothing from the past most unfortunate incidents and repeatedly we hear such incidents where advocates carry weapons right inside court premises which has now become a serious menace and what we then witness is there to see as we saw just now right inside the Rohini court premises making a complete mockery of our courts! There must be a complete strict ban on all persons whether they are advocates or anyone else to ever carry weapons with them right inside court premises! Only then can the security of our court premises be drastically improved and those working in courts and those litigants who come to court seeking justice are rest assured that they are safe which is so indispensable also for our judicial system to function normally and fearlessly under all circumstances!

The National Commission for Women Chairperson Rekha Sharma, who visited the Agra court premises after the gruesome murder of Chairperson of UP Bar Council Darvesh Yadav right inside court premises, expressed her displeasure over the armed weapon been brought right inside the court premises! She very rightly pointed out that, “Why should lawyers or anyone else be allowed to bring weapon inside court premises. We will write to Bar Council of India and UP Bar Council to ensure that no weapon is allowed in court premises. It’s extremely disappointing that an advocate was shot inside court by her own colleagues. I’ll submit my finding report to Union Home Minister.” More than two years later we still see such horrifying incidents being perpetrated time and again with impunity by none other than the criminals themselves by just simply wearing advocates uniform and then fearlessly entering inside easily without being checked by anyone and thus perpetrating the gruesome crime most easily with full brutality!

Why can’t one and all be banned from carrying weapons right inside court premises? Why is the security of court premises repeatedly allowed to be compromised by the police? Is someone directing the police to compromise with the security? Who are they? Why should they not be held accountable whenever such gruesome incident is perpetrated right inside court premises as we saw most recently in the Rohini court premises?

The security of court premises have to drastically improve now and there can be no compromise on it any longer as it directly affects the very credibility of our judiciary itself which stands at the highest pedestal! This most burning issue cannot keep on hanging fire indefinitely! It has to be definitely addressed right now with utmost urgency!

*Advocate based in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh

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