The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the police and the bar council to file a status report in five days after a plea sought to ensure adequate security in the district courts of the national capital, PTI reported.

The plea was filed by advocate Deepa Joseph following the shootout inside Rohini court in Delhi on September 24. Gangster Jitendra Gogi, who was being produced in the court for a hearing, was killed by two assailants from a rival gang who posed as lawyers. The assailants died when the police opened retaliatory fire.

Justice Rekha Palli, while issuing the notice to the Delhi Police and the Bar Council of Delhi, said that the matter was urgent as “lawyers may also become victims of incidents like these”, Bar and Bench reported.

The police told the court that they were ensuring that the security in district courts is increased adequately, PTI reported.

Advocate Ajayinder Sangwan, representing the Bar Council of Delhi, told the court that the members of the legal body had met the police to discuss about the security in district courts, Bar and Bench reported.

Sangwan said that the council and the police agreed that the security in Delhi’s district courts should be on par with that at the Supreme Court.

The petitioner, Joseph, had also made a slew of suggestions to improve the security in courts. The suggestions included installation of biometric punching devices outside the entrance gates of all the courts.

Joseph also said that she has seen that the police refrain from “frisking” a person who enters the court in a lawyer’s attire. She said that the lawyers at the district court have to be checked as thoroughly as they are in the High Courts and the Supreme Court.

The Delhi High Court listed the matter for hearing on October 11.

Meanwhile, the High Court on Wednesday is set to hear another petition seeking increase in security in the district courts, The Tribune reported.

The petition has been pending since 2019 and had specifically requested increased security in the Rohini court premises.

‘Do not seek physical presence of undertrials’

Meanwhile, a lawyer from Delhi, Rishi Malhotra, moved the the Supreme Court, requesting it to not to seek physical presence of undertrials as a matter of routine, The Tribune reported. He suggested that virtual hearings would be a better option.

He said that the presence of undertrial prisoners not only posed a risk to the safety of public and judicial officers, but also provided an opportunity for criminals to escape from custody.

Malhotra said that there were several provisions in the Code of Criminal Procedure that empowered the trial courts to not call for undertrials on every date of hearing.