[Rohini Court Firing] Delhi High Court issues notice in plea for security of District Courts after "shocking and gory" Rohini Court shootout

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The Delhi High Court today issued notice in plea seeking directions to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi and  Bar Council of Delhi to to take requisite measures that ensure safety and security of the District Courts of Delhi in the wake of the “shocking and gory” shootout inside the Rohini Court on September 24.

The single judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli was hearing a plea filed by Advocate Deepa Joseph who has submitted that she is shocked that the district courts where she and thousands of fellow Advocates visit on daily basis has become so unsafe and “an easy terrain for gangsters to settle scores with each other”.

Advocate Santosh Kumar Tripathi appearing for Bar Council of Delhi informed the Court that recently a meeting was held to take immediate steps to gear up the security of district courts at par with the Supreme Court.

The Court has directed the respondents to file a status report within a week and listed the matter for next hearing on October 11.

The concern for the Petitioner is that the unlike the past, this time a shocking shootout has happened inside the court room of a district court of the Capital of India. It is also painful that a young legal professional has also got severely injured in the scary incident. 

The petitioner has submitted that “This shootout inside the court again puts a big question mark on the safety and security of judges, lawyers and litigants inside the District courts in Delhi”.

The petitioner further submits that she has filed the petition is as she is also from the legal fraternity and has a genuine apprehension about visiting District courts in Delhi after seeing shocking visuals and videos of the incident that were circulating on social media throughout the day. 

The petition filed through Advocates Robin Raju and Blessan Mathews submits that “The incident that has happened on Friday, at Rohini Court, was truly well planned”.  It is submitted that the assailants posed as lawyers and were present inside the court room before the dreaded gangster was produced before the Court. “The ease with which the assailants entered into the court premises in the attire shows that they were well aware that it is easy to get access into the court by being in a lawyers attire”.

In view of the above the petitioner has suggested that the level of frisking of lawyers needs to be made at the same level as in High Court of Delhi and the Supreme Court of India. 

It has also been suggested that in the future a decision can also be taken regarding installing a biometric punching device outside the entrance gates of all the courts. 

Petitioner is suggesting that a strict direction may be given to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to instruct all the police personnel at court entrances to ensure that they check the ID Cards of each and every lawyer who enters the court premises. the Delhi Commissioner of Police  should take action against those officers who do not implement this direction with utmost diligence and seriousness.

The petitioner in the context of Article 21 has urged the Court to direct the Bar Council of Delhi to issue an advisory to all the District Bar Associations in Delhi to recommend members of their Bar to co-operate with Police personnel at the main entrance of courts. The advisory should spread the message that a lawyer’s stature is not lowered by showing his/her bar council ID to the police at the main entrance gates.

On September 24, Notorious Delhi gangster Jitender Mann Gogi was shot dead by members of a rival gang inside a courtroom at the Rohini court in New Delhi earlier today, in a shootout that has left other several other lawyers and an intern injured.

Case Title: Deepa Joseph vs The Commissioner of Police and Anr