CISF mock drill on Nov 12 before HC security made operational

Chennai: The CISF mandated by Madras High Court to provide security cover to it will conduct a mock drill on November 14, two days before the HC deadline ends, as it wants to ensure that a foolproof system is in place. The High Court had on October 30 ordered that CISF security cover for it should be operational by November 16.

A total of 650 of their personnel would be deployed. A meeting on various aspects of providing CISF cover was held here between CISF Commandant Sriram and Building and Security Committee, comprising five judges and top police officials.

The judges were Justices R Sudhakar, K K Sasidharan, M M Sundresh, M Satnyanarayanan and N Kirubakaran, while the top police officials included Commissioner of Police Rajendran and Additional Commissioner of Police V A Ravikumar. Sources from Court and CISF who wished to remain anonymous said the impact of the drill would be studied before putting up the foolproof security system.

They said there are some initial problems on accommodating CISF personnel and infrastructure arrangements like machines for baggage screening and photo entry card printing and also due to heavy downpour for the past one week. A committee to look into grievances and offer on the spot solutions has been formed.

The Implementation-cum-grievances Redressal Committee', to be headed by the HC Registrar (Administration), will have Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry chairman D Selvam, Madras High Court Advocates Association president R C Paul Kanagaraj, CISF commandant Sriram, Madras Bar Association secretary Govindaraj and ACP (high court range) Kannan as members, they said.

Rejecting reservations by Tamil Nadu government, the HC had on October 30 ordered that the CISF security cover for it should be operational by November 16. On October 14 last, the court had ordered that the "inner circle" of its campuses here and Madurai should be brought under CISF protection as a temporary measure and directed the state and central governments to jointly formulate a security protocol by today.

The court had taken up the suo motu PIL after it witnessed unruly scenes and obstruction caused by lawyers agitating for declaration of Tamil as official language of the court and over contempt of court proceedings against two Madurai-based Bar leaders last month.

On November 4, the Supreme Court had refused to interfere with the HC Court for deployment of CISF by replacing state police security at its Chennai premises. It had said nobody, including lawyers, can be allowed to hold to ransom the institution which has to remain "effective" by maintaining its "integrity" and "dignity."

Several issues were sorted out at today's meeting. On entry of litigants into the HC campus, the Committee decided to adopt the Delhi High Court system and its format. Clients can enter only with a certificate issued by their advocate along with a copy of the advocate's identity card.

On entry of advocates, since spot issuing machines will take a while to be operational, those manning the gates will accept ID cards issued by the Bar council and Bar associations, the sources said. For now CISF personnel on HC duty would be accommodated in Chennai Port Trust's diabetes hospital.

If this was inadequate, they would be housed in two-three corporation owned halls in the vicinity. They will later be housed in 220 quarters of the port trust at Tondiarpet. The quarters need repairs and they would be done on a war footing.

A team of CISF personnel is scheduled to leave for Madurai tomorrow to study the ground situation there, the sources said, adding that segregation of security area from advocate's chambers will be required there. Though the job is easy in Madurai, CISF wants to take local bar leaders and officials into confidence before unveiling the security scheme, they said.

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