SC notice to UP govt over non-functional CCTV cameras at Gautam Budh Nagar district court

12:55 PM Apr 01, 2024 | PTI |

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Uttar Pradesh government’s response after taking note of a report from the Gautam Buddh Nagar district judge that CCTV cameras on the court’s premises were lying defunct due to the lack of maintenance funds.


The top court, which on March 21 took note of the alleged manhandling of senior advocate Gaurav Bhatia in the Gautam Buddh Nagar district court, also made clear that it has taken a dim view of the incident and the fact that the persons responsible have not been identified till now.

“We will keep it on next Monday. Even if they (local bar leaders) have apologised, we will take a dim view of this… no lawyer can compel a court (judge) and lawyers to leave the court, we will take it very seriously,” said the bench headed by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud.

The bench, also comprising Justice J B Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra, took note of the report filed by District Judge Amit Saxena that the CCTV cameras, installed on the district court premises there, were dysfunctional and hence the footage of the incident could not be obtained.

It issued a notice to the state government through its counsel and senior advocate Garima Prasad.


While taking note of the incident, the top court had earlier asked the district judge to preserve the CCTV footage of the incident.

On the issue of lawyers restraining colleagues from entering courts, the CJI on Monday said “Protest is not strike. You cannot enter the court and ask the lawyers ‘chalo nikal jao yaha se’ (get out of here). We will take it very seriously.”

At the outset, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Adish Agrawal and secretary Rohit Pandey said the local bar leaders have written a letter expressing regret.

Senior lawyer and former SCBA president Vikas Singh, appearing for senior advocate Gaurav Bhatia, opposed Agrawal’s submission, saying that “no remorse or regret” has been expressed by the local bar leaders who have also failed to identify the culprit.

Earlier, the top court had taken note of the mentioning of the case by senior advocate Vikas Singh and had directed the registration of a suo motu petition over the incident which had taken place in the district court where lawyers were on a strike.

Singh had told the apex court that lawyers allegedly misbehaved and snatched the collar band of Bhatia. A woman lawyer also appeared before the bench and claimed that she was also manhandled in a different court while appearing in a matter.

“There is no reason why this court should not accept what is placed on the record. Ordinarily, we would have insisted on a petition. But the attack on two members of the SCBA is serious. We accordingly direct the Registrar to register a suo motu writ petition,” the bench had said.

The top court had directed the District Judge of Gautam Buddh Nagar to ensure that the CCTV footage of the incident is in safe custody, pending further orders and also ordered that a report be submitted on the incident.

The top court had said a strike by members of the bar affected the litigants who are vital stakeholders in the justice system. The SCBA had also condemned the misconduct of a lawyer in the district court against Bhatia.


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