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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Police, CBI don’t respond to complaints from judges: CJI

Heading a two-judge bench which took up the suo motu case registered by the Supreme Court in connection with the death of Dhanbad Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said

Written by Ananthakrishnan G | New Delhi |
Updated: August 7, 2021 6:51:07 am
NV RamanaChief Justice of India N V Ramana. (Express file photo)

Criticising the CBI and IB, the Supreme Court said Friday that the agencies are “not helping the judiciary at all” in matters relating to security of judges. It said police and CBI do not respond to complaints from judges.

Heading a two-judge bench which took up the suo motu case registered by the Supreme Court in connection with the death of Dhanbad Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said “there are several cases in the country which involve gangsters and where high profile people are accused” and that judges are sometimes “threatened mentally also by sending messages on WhatsApp, SMS” or harassed through social media posts.

Though CBI probes were ordered in some instances, he said the agency had “done nothing”.

“In one or two places, courts ordered CBI inquiry. It is sad to say that the CBI has done nothing. We expected some change in CBI attitude. But there has been no change. We are sorry to observe,” the CJI told Attorney General K K Venugopal who had been asked by the court to assist in the matter.

The CJI also flagged what he called a “new trend in this country” to malign the judiciary when adverse orders are passed.

“It is a new trend in this country. If an adverse order is passed, then the judiciary is maligned. If judges file a complaint to police or CBI, they do not respond. Intelligence Bureau and CBI are not helping the judiciary at all,” he said, adding he was saying this with full sense of responsibility.

The bench, also comprising Justice Surya Kant, described the death of ASJ Anand as “the state’s failure”.

“Look at the unfortunate case of the death of a young judge. It’s the state’s failure. This area has coal mafias and security should have been provided to the society and residences of judges,” the CJI said.

Venugopal said he had a list of judges who were attacked, and it was time to put some strong measures in place.

Jharkhand Advocate General Rajiv Ranjan told the bench that the state had enhanced security for judges and had also built boundary walls where none existed.

Justice Surya Kant, however, said that “hardened criminals cannot be contained with boundary walls”.

The bench pointed out that an application has been filed saying anti-social elements are entering courts and security measures need to be put in place so that judges can work independently. The bench asked the Centre to file its response so that the court can pass orders.

The bench also asked all states to file status reports in the matter and posted the matter for hearing on August 17. It said those who do not file their response by then will lose their right to file a counter-affidavit in the matter.

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