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Cops barred from using mobile phones in court

Security personnel at the Delhi High Court will not be able to talk on mobile phones or flip through newspapers from Monday as Delhi Police has issued strict instructions against this.

 The move followed a decision at a high-level meeting Thursday to discuss the high court’s security in wake of two blasts within a span of three months, said Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) secretary DK Sharma.

 The meeting, presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, was attended by five senior judges, members of the DHCBA and officials of police, the New Delhi Municipal Council, the Delhi government, the home ministry and other agencies.

 The Sep 7 blast at gate number 5 of the court killed 13 and left over 90 injured.

 “Delhi Police issued a decree to its officers deployed at the court, asking them not to carry mobile phones while on duty. They have also asked their officers neither to chat on the cell phone nor to read newspapers or magazines while on duty,” said an officer deployed for the inside security of the high court.

 The officer, who wished not to be named said: “Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, I do not want the same incident to reoccur. I want the best security for our institutions.”

 Meanwhile, annoyed over the orders, one police officer said: “It will be very hard for our families to communicate with us at times of emergency.”

 He also complained of lack of shelters at the gates where the police are deployed.

 The Delhi High Court has nine gates, of which gate numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5 are closed. Gate number 1 is used by judges, while litigants and lawyers enter through gate numbers 7 and 8. Vehicle heading for parking lots inside the court complex enter from gates 6 and 9.

 Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat refused to disclose the number of police personnel deployed at the high court saying it was confidential. Sources said there are nearly 300 policemen posted around the complex.

 Bhagat said from now on if family members of any of the policemen posted at the high court wants to contact them while they are on duty this will have to be done through the control room.

 The outcome of the high-level meeting was that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will take in charge of the inner security of the Delhi High Court from Monday, replacing the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC), said Sharma.

 Sharma said it was also decided at the meeting, to install around 49 CCTV cameras within the next three weeks in the court area, including at all the gates and outer and inner circle of the court. Four under-body car scanners will also be provided to the security personnel.

 As of now, all visitors will have to pass through a three-tier security arrangement while entering into the court premises and will be frisked at all of them.

 The checks would start from the point one would enter the complex to collect a pass, then as one would step inside the court premises and finally at the point of entry into the court building or the lawyers’ chambers.

 CCTVs would be installed by Electronics Corporation of India Ltd. under the supervision of the public works department. The CCTVs will be of three kinds – standard, zoom-in and the ones which can also read car number plates, a DHCBA member said.

 There will be smooth parking system from Monday, as the NDMC has agreed to allot free parking to lawyers visiting the court.

 “Advocates can park 500 vehicles at no cost near India Gate and at National Stadium. From there, they would be provided free shuttle service,” said Sharma.

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