The Uttar Pradesh government Monday informed the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court (HC) that it had provided Z-category security to the three judges connected to the Ayodhya Title suit. The security provided to Justice SU Khan, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice DV Sharma (now retired), was owing to threat perceptions emanating from terror groups like SIMI and Indian Mujahideen, the government informed.
The court on Monday was hearing a petition demanding security cover to judges and lawyers who represented the Hindu side during the petition. A division bench of Justice DP Singh and Justice DK Upadhyay had asked the centre and the Uttar Pradesh government to see that security arrangements were in place in and around the HC’s Lucknow and Allahabad bench campus.
The writ petition before the HC bench had last week raised issues of security of the judges and lawyers after the arrest of four terrorists by Madhya Pradesh ATS in June 2011. During their interrogation, the arrested terrorists had spoken of plans to attack lawyers involved in the contentious title suits.
The two-judge bench Monday issued directions to the respondents to ensure that no car or vehicles should be permitted to enter the premises of the HC without pass and screening/under vehicle search mirror. The bench further said that no person including the litigants and members of Bar shall be allowed to enter into the court premises without due check at security points.
The HC bench further directed the competent state authorities and CRPF officials to work on further improvement of the security set up and to inform the court of the action taken report (ATR) in pursuance to the meeting. The court set the next date of hearing on April 19. The court also asked for a gunner and shadow to be provided for Ranjana Agnihotri, the petitioner.