Security to retd judges: SC sets aside J&K HC order
The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned Jammu and Kashmir high court orders with regard to security cover for retired judges, including providing them with lifetime round-the-clock police protection for district judges and state’s advocate general.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra asked the Security Review Coordination Committee (SRCC) to make a fresh assessment before extending adequate security as per requirements to the judges concerned.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan and advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for the state government, submitted it was the SRCC’s job to decide on who needs how much security cover and not for the high court.
The MHA guidelines are adhered to while the threat assessment is made and protection is given in accordance to the same.
The HC, the state said, committed a “grave error” in directing that a minimum of 1-4 security personnel cover should be provided to all former chief justices and former high court judges for life.
There is a detailed policy in place that contains the procedure for periodic assessment of threats.
The high court order amounted to “usurption of an expert function” by encroaching upon an area exclusive expertise of the state and security agencies.
The high court had in 2015-2016 issued several directions to the state to provide round-the-clock security cover at the residences of each former chief justice and judge of high court along with one personal security officer (PSO).
It was done keeping in view the deteriorating law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir.