The Supreme Court today asked the centre to take measures for judges’ safety and said the issue should not be left to states alone. The court was hearing the case of murder of a Jharkhand district judge last month.
The Supreme Court, which took up the case on its own, also warned states for not filing reports on the status of security measures for judges.
“States are painting a rosy picture on steps being taken. But despite that, (there are) repeated incidents of attacks on judicial officers,” the Supreme Court.
“States (are) citing lack of CCTV funds. But those will only record the crime. They cannot prevent a criminal from attacking and cannot prevent threats.”
The court also gave states a week’s time to do so and a warning of Rs. 1 lakh fine they don’t submit a status report in a week. Chief Secretaries must be present for the next hearing if states don’t submit their reports in a week, the Supreme Court said.
District judge Uttam Anand, 49, was killed on July 28 when an auto rammed him while he was on his morning run.
What was first believed to be a hit-and-run turned out to be far more sinister as CCTV footage that emerged online showed the auto going straight for the judge along a deserted stretch of road and hitting him intentionally.
Judge Anand had been handling many cases of mafia killings in Dhanbad and had rejected bail requests from two gangsters. He was also hearing a murder case involving an MLA’s close aide.
In today’s hearing in the Supreme Court, when the centre said that a state-specific coordination is needed for the safety of judges, the court said, “You are the best person to get this done.”
In an earlier hearing, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said the CBI and other investigating agencies “do not respond” when lower court judges complain about threats.