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SC: No one can hold Judiciary to ransom, Dignity of Judges will be protected at all cost

Dignity of Judiciary in India
Dignity of Judiciary in India

November,5,2015: In a terse message to the Tamil Nadu Police and the lawyers in Madras HC complex whose violent agitation recently forced the HC Chief Justice to order CISF cover, the Supreme Court on Wednesday fully backed the HC order and warned that if any attempt to undermine the institutional integrity and dignity of judges is made, the court will not hesitate to call even the Army.

The Supreme Court refused to interfere with the Madras High Court order for deployment of CISF by replacing state police security at its Chennai premises, which has recently witnessed unruly scenes caused by lawyers paralysing normal work.

It said nobody, including the lawyers, can be allowed to hold to ransom the institution which has to remain “effective” by maintaining its “integrity” and “dignity.”

The apex court made it clear it was not going to examine the issue at the instance of the state government which has filed an appeal against the High Court order of October 30.

“The Chief Justice (of the High Court) and judges are entitled to say that the police is ineffective. You cannot allow the institution to be held to ransom. We will not allow this to happen,” a bench comprising Justices T S Thakur and P C Pant said.

“They (judges) felt they are totally insecure with the local police. They have asked CISF to step in. If CISF also fails then other forces may be asked to be called,” it said.

The Bench did not agree with the arguments of Tamil Nadu Government counsel and senior advocate L Nageshwar Rao that paying an hefty amount of Rs 36 crore per year to the Centre for deploying CISF would be a problem and, further, deputing central force would affect the morale of the state police.

He said there would also be a language issue with the CISF at the High Court campus which is visited daily by 15,000 lawyers.

Brushing aside the arguments, the bench recalled the incident of September 14 and said “people dont allow the institution to work. They (lawyers) squat with their children and female members of the family in the courtroom. What is all this happening?”

The bench did not agree with the arguments of Tamil Nadu Government counsel and Senior Advocate L Nageshwar Rao that paying an hefty amount of Rs 36 crore per year to the Centre for deploying CISF would be a problem and, further, deputing central force would affect the morale of the state police. He said there would also be a language issue with the CISF at the High Court campus which is visited daily by 15,000 lawyers.

In a strongly-worded petition, the State government accused the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) changing its stance in the issue without notice. It said that the Centre had at first agreed that there was no need for deployment of CISF at the High Court premises, but then changed its position to demand Rs. 16.6 crore from the State government for sending in CISF personnel.

The bench told the counsel that the Tamil Nadu Government could go to the High Court and advance all arguments about the language problem and the morale of the state police.

“Go back to the High Court and point out the difficulties,” the bench said and added “we dont want to handle the security issue of the High Court. High Court is competent to handle it itself. If High Court feels that there is inadequate security it can certainly ask for CISF cover.”

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