A whopping 400 CCTV cameras are proposed to be installed on the City Civil and Sessions Court premises to ensure the safety of litigants and the lawyers. The proposal comes almost two years after violent clashes erupted between lawyers, journalists and police personnel on the court premises on March 2, 2012.
The court premises will have more than double the number of CCTV cameras installed on the Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha premises. Just 150 cameras have been installed on the two landmarked buildings put together, said K N Subba Reddy, the president of Advocates’ Association, Bangalore (AAB).
About 15,000 people, including litigants and court staff, visit the court complex every day. Then, there are as many as 7,000 lawyers who practise in the court, according to A P Ranganath, General Secretary, AAB. The cameras, to be installed at a cost of Rs 7.5 crore, will keep tabs on visitors and vehicles. “They would be installed on parking lots, outside court halls and corridors on all floors,” Ranganath said, adding that the tender process had just begun. The March 2, 2012 incident aside, there had been a long-time demand by lawyers to increase security at the court complex. The Public Works Department (PWD) had proposed several measures in this regard. After a meeting with the then Administrative Judge, K Sreedhar Rao, on July 12, 2013, it proposed such measures as construction of a boundary wall, prevention and diversion of traffic, setting up of a police outpost, a reception centre and a prisoners’ room. Besides, it proposed closing multiple entrances, installing CCTV cameras and fire extinguishers. Consequently, a compound wall has been constructed and multiple entrances sealed. Within 15 days, lights will be installed on the compound walls, according to sources in the PWD.
Explaining the security measures, Ranganath said, “Apart from blocking multiple entrances, we have ensured that unsolicited vendors and casual visitors are denied entry. Besides, indiscriminate parking will be a thing of the past. There is only one entry and exit point now, and no entry to the Deputy Commissioner’s office from the Civil Court end.”
But problems of the court complex do not end here. “Ever since the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT) and Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) were shifted to the revenue building on K G Road, lawyers now want an entrance here and want a security guard to be stationed,” said Reddy. The AAB is, however, yet to decide on the matter.
The association further said that once the police outpost was opened, vehicles and visitors’ luggage would be screened as done in the High Court. Besides, floodlights would be installed on the main road once the construction on the underground Metro station is over. According to PWD, it will take another three months.