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Supreme Court Issues Notice to UP Government Over Defunct CCTV Cameras at Gautam Buddh Nagar District Court on Moday, April 1

Supreme Court Seeks UP Government’s Response Over Non-Functional CCTV Cameras in Gautam Buddh Nagar District Court

The Supreme Court has demanded a response from the Uttar Pradesh government after acknowledging a report from the Gautam Buddh Nagar district judge, highlighting the defunct status of CCTV cameras on the court premises due to insufficient maintenance funds.

The apex court, which previously took cognizance of the alleged manhandling incident involving senior advocate Gaurav Bhatia at the Gautam Buddh Nagar district court on March 21, emphasized its disapproval of the incident and the failure to identify the responsible individuals.

We will review this matter next Monday. Even if the local bar leaders have apologized, we view this matter seriously… No lawyer has the authority to compel a judge or fellow lawyers to vacate the court premises. We take this matter very seriously,” stated the bench led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud.

Additionally, the bench, including Justice J B Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra, acknowledged the report submitted by District Judge Amit Saxena, revealing the malfunctioning state of CCTV cameras at the district court premises, which prevented the retrieval of footage of the incident. Consequently, a notice has been issued to the state government through its counsel and senior advocate Garima Prasad.

While addressing the incident, the Supreme Court had previously instructed the district judge to preserve the CCTV footage. Chief Justice Chandrachud reiterated that protests should not impede court proceedings, emphasizing that protest is not equivalent to a strike.

In response to the incident, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Adish Agrawal and secretary Rohit Pandey informed that local bar leaders have expressed regret in a written letter. However, senior lawyer Vikas Singh, representing senior advocate Gaurav Bhatia, contested Agrawal’s submission, asserting that no remorse or regret has been conveyed by the local bar leaders, who have also failed to identify the perpetrator.

Previously, the Supreme Court, upon senior advocate Vikas Singh’s mention of the case, directed the registration of a suo motu petition regarding the incident, which occurred during a strike by lawyers at the district court. Singh informed the apex court that lawyers allegedly misbehaved and forcibly removed Bhatia’s collar band. Another female lawyer also appeared before the bench, alleging mistreatment in a separate court matter.

Consequently, the bench directed the District Judge of Gautam Buddh Nagar to secure the CCTV footage of the incident and ordered the submission of a report on the matter. The Supreme Court highlighted that bar strikes adversely affect litigants, who are essential stakeholders in the justice system. Additionally, the SCBA condemned the lawyer’s misconduct against Bhatia at the district court.

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