Prevent the Supreme Court From Being Converted Into a Barrack!

Lawyers’ Campaign for Democracy

We are witness to a project of gradual fortification of the Supreme Court compound, making it more and more difficult and inconvenient for the common people and even for we lawyers, to have access to the Court. As if the fortification of the compound with high grills and carving out a high security zone was not sufficient, first the entry of litigants was restricted and then lawyers were called upon to show their identity cards. Now we are being called upon to get ‘proximity cards’ to have access to the Courts. The next step probably would be the physical search of the lawyers.

Needless to point out that litigants’ access and mobility inside the compound has been harshly curtailed to the detriment of ordinary people and also those of us who are not provided with chambers. This all is being done in the name of perfecting security of the Court.

Step by step, gradually, the premises of the Court, is being converted to a police camp. Considerations for security have virtually taken over all democratic ethos of open Court and justice. Big law companies, the sharks of legal profession and those others having infrastructure, inside and outside the Court premises, are direct beneficiaries of this process.

And what our elected representatives in the Bar Association are doing? Simply agreeing to everything, whatever bureaucracy proposes to do?

Have you ever thought of having Courts inside a jail premises or an Army barrack; probably that would be the safest place to conduct the Courts. But would these Courts have anything in common with the institution of a democracy which boasts itself to be the biggest one in the world? Where are we being pushed?

One hardly needs to mention the state of affairs of security and law and order, as it exists for the common people including we lawyers, outside the precincts of the Court, in the city. It is only few who enjoy security at their residence, in transit to Court and strive to have it more and more tightened inside the Court premises, even to the detriment of litigants and lawyers at large. The frightened bureaucracy, intends to sell its fears to us also, in order to facilitate the imposition of harsh security measures. The fear of few is creating havoc for majority of us.

Are we ready to accept this, or do we intend to defend ourselves and the people at large, against this bureaucratic concept and design of ‘security’? Are we ready to buy the bogus idea of so-called ‘security’ from the frightened bureaucracy, in exchange for freedom and justice, which we have always considered even above our lives?

We are fundamentally opposed to the idea of security, harshly curtailing the free movement of ordinary people.

Last word we want to say is that no security arrangements could repel the dangers. It is not the might of bayonets, but the prestige and dignity of the Courts of law in the eyes of people at large, which serves as real defence for the institutions of democracy. Real damage to the institution of Courts is threatened from those who are converting courts gradually into police barracks, thereby destroying the last appearances of a democratic institution.

Click here to return to the April-September 2009 index.