Two police personnel allegedly assaulted a judge and pointed a gun at him inside a courtroom in Madhubani district of Bihar on Thursday, PTI reported. The attack took place around 2 pm.

Lawyers and judicial staff rescued Additional District Judge Jhanjharpur Avinash Kumar and subsequently confined the police personnel – Station House Officer Gopal Krishna and Sub-inspector Abhimanyu Sharma – in a room on the court premises, The Times of India reported. The judge is said to be safe.

The Patna High Court on Thursday took suo motu cognisance of the matter and asked the state director general of police to file a status report on it. The court also asked the official to remain present before it during the next hearing on November 29.

A division bench comprising Justices Rajan Gupta and Mohit Kumar Shah described the attack as “unprecedented and shocking”.

“Prima facie, it appears that this episode puts the independence of judiciary in jeopardy,” the court observed. “We, thus, deem it fit to issue notice to the respondents the chief secretary,... the director general of police, Bihar, the principal secretary, Home Department, ... and the superintendent of police (Madhubani).”

In August, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to take steps to protect judges and ensure the safety of courts. The court had said that matter of judges’ safety should not be left to the states alone.

The bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose gave these directions while hearing a suo motu case in connection with the death of a judge in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad city.

The judge, Uttam Anand, was allegedly murdered in a hit-and-run incident on July 28 while he was on his morning jog.