New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday (August 6) termed “serious” the incidents of judges being threatened and asked the states to file status reports on the security they are providing to the judicial officers.
A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Surya Kant issued notice to the CBI which has taken over the investigation into the recent incident of alleged mowing down of a judge at Dhanbad.
The bench told Attorney General K K Venugopal that there are several cases which involve gangsters and high-profile persons and there are instances of judges getting threats or abusive messages.
“There is no freedom to the judges to even file a complaint,” the bench said, adding that police or the CBI is not helping the judiciary if such complaints are filed.
“In one or two places, the court ordered CBI inquiry. It is very sorry to say that CBI has done nothing in more than one year. At one place, I know, CBI has done nothing. I think we have expected some changes in CBI’s attitude. But there is no change in the attitude of CBI. I am sorry to observe this but this is the situation,” said Chief Justice N V Ramana.
The bench told Attorney General K K Venugopal that in criminal cases where high-profile persons are involved, if they do not get expected orders from the court they start maligning the judiciary.
“This is a new trend developed in the country unfortunately. There is no freedom to a judge even to give a complaint. Such a situation is created,” said the bench, which was hearing a suo motu case on the issue of safeguarding courts and protecting judges in the wake of recent incident of alleged mowing down of a judge at Dhanbad.
“They think it is not a priority item for them. The IB, CBI they are not helping the judiciary at all. I am making this statement with a sense of responsibility and I know the incident that is the reason I am saying this. I do not want to divulge more than this,” the CJI said.
At the outset, Jharkhand’s advocate general Rajiv Ranjan told the bench that the state had constituted a 22-member special investigation team (SIT) which had arrested the two drivers of the auto-rickshaw which had hit the judge when he was on morning walk on July 28.
Ranjan said the case has now been handed over to the CBI. “So, you have washed off your hands?,” the bench said.
It asked Jharkhand’s counsel whether they have provided adequate security at the residence of judges in the state. The counsel said orders have been issued and adequate police protection has been provided at the residences and colonies of the judicial officers.
Referring to the Dhanbad incident, the bench said it is an unfortunate case where a young judicial officer lost his life. “We cannot ignore the state’s negligence. We know in Dhanbad area there are mafias, coal mafias. Advocates were killed, judges were attacked but in spite of that, state has not done anything,” the bench observed.
District and Sessions Judge-8 of Dhanbad court, Uttam Anand, was out on morning walk on July 28 when he was killed by an auto-rickshaw at Randhir Verma Chowk near the district court in the Sadar police station area.
“We will hear the Jharkhand matter on Monday (August 9). We are issuing notice to the CBI,” the bench said.
(With inputs from PTI)