In a first, Chief Justice of India T S Thakur and judges of the Supreme Court were briefed for almost an hour Friday on the internal and external security situation of the country by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval who, while seeking “more cooperation” in “speeding up” the judicial system, underlined that “national security should be a non-partisan issue”.
The judges were briefed during a closed-door session of a seminar organised as part of a three-day retreat on the campus of the National Judicial Academy on the outskirts of Bhopal. President Pranab Mukherjee will be addressing the Supreme Court judges Saturday.
It is learnt that Doval shared information on an “Indian master plan” to strengthen national security and listed threats to the country. He dwelt on the importance of technology and how it can be used as a tool to fight terrorism. The judges were also told about research and development of capabilities to counter different forms of terror.
The NSA, it is learnt, said national security should be a non-partisan issue and not viewed from a political prism. Seeking “more cooperation” from the judicial system, he said all pillars of democracy need to work in tandem to improve India’s internal and external security.
Linking administration of justice to national security, Doval elaborated on threats to external and internal security and pointed out that “delayed justice in terror-related and espionage cases” affects the system.
He said an “integrated synchronized approach” to national security will help make India safer. He even mentioned some laws that are helpful and others that are not in strengthening security systems.
On Thursday, advocate Prashant Bhushan had opposed the briefing of judges by the NSA, saying many terror-related cases reach courts for adjudication where both sides are heard.
“With this in the backdrop, we think it may be inappropriate for judges to be briefed only by the NSA in the absence of representatives from human rights organisations offering an alternative perspective from the point of view of how the actions of security agencies impact human rights,” Bhushan said.