Police report reveals why cops clash with lawyers

At the meeting, the report submitted by the ACP in-charge of high court security was discussed

Chennai: In a report submitted to the security committee of the Madras high court, the TN police have given a detailed account of the difficulties they face in securing the high profile zone. Admitting that linguistic affinity was the biggest hurdle in law enforcement, the report highlights the frequent altercations between policemen on duty and lawyers.

Minutes of the July meeting of the Madras high court security committee, headed by Justice R. Sudhakar, indicate that this report formed the very basis of the demand for a central force to man the premises by Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

Though the state government has rejected the request for CISF to be deployed in both Chennai and Madurai, the security committee is still pressing for it, highlighting the fact that there was total consensus on this issue in the July meeting, which was attended by representatives of various bar associations and also the police.

At the meeting, the report submitted by the ACP in-charge of high court security was discussed. Giving details of the existing security set-up in the high court, the report states that the common language and caste affinities make the police force “vulnerable” and lead to frequent altercations with lawyers. Women constables have also complained of harassment and lewd remarks being passed by “hooligans who come in the garb of advocates”, making it difficult to maintain law and order.

Further, it states that both the Madras high court and Madurai bench campus have been “infiltrated by others” and have become “hubs for other activites”. The report says that there are a number of “non-practising lawyers” who are using the premises. It particularly mentions the fact that after 10 pm, the police find it very difficult to get advocates to vacate the Madurai court campus, which it adds is used for a number of nefarious activities.

At present, there are over 400 police personnel deployed in Madras high court for security duty. “The summary of the report is that all is not well,” says a member of the committee. “And under these circumstances, the police are finding it difficult to even check i-cards of lawyers entering campus.”

A neutral central force will not have any link or affinity with the local bar associations and find it easier to maintain law and order on campus. Citing the recent incident of placard waving advocates who protested inside the courtroom, a member argues that a central force would have handled the situation better.

A central force will not be part of the local politics, say High Court officials. “They will ask for an i-card before anyone enters and that act in itself will sort out half the security concerns,” a judge adds.

“There were three outfits from Madurai that did not send members to the meeting,” confirms an official privy to the meeting. Those not attending included the group headed by A.K. Ramaswamy, who has now been debarred by the Bar Association of India.

Everyone else, including the police personnel present agreed that a central force was the need of the hour. However a senior police official says at these meetings, inspector or assistant commissioner representing the police, are usually not in a position to argue against the decisions, adding that calling it “consensus” is misleading.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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