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Ex-CJ justifies permanent security to himself, other judges

NEW DELHI: The Meghalaya High Court’s former chief justice, Uma Nath Singh, who passed orders giving himself and his colleagues security on a permanent basis on the eve of demitting office, has written to Chief Justice of India J.S Khehar justifying his much-debated order.
“The former Meghalaya chief justice has written a good letter,” the bench headed by the CJI said while directing the apex court registry to provide copies of the communication to the parties concerned so that the sensitive matter can be laid to rest.
The bench told senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, appearing for petitioner Sajay Laloo, that in the wake of the letter written by the former HC chief justice, the petition can be disposed of.
The bench posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks.
Justice Uma Nath Singh retired on January 13 last year and in a suo motu proceeding initiated by a bench headed by him had ordered the State to provide security on a permanent basis to the chief justice and judges “at their place of residence after their retirement” in view of the risk they run because of handling cases connected with insurgents.
It had said the security cover (‘Z’ category for the chief justice and ‘Y’ for other judges) should not be disturbed “even upon fresh assessment of threat perception” after they retire.
The Meghalaya High Court Chief Justice enjoys ‘Z’ category cover while other judges of the court have ‘Y’ category security. The bench headed by Justice Singh had said the threat assessment could not be done without consulting the protectee and the retired judges should be provided security when they travelled from one place to another.
Hansaria had earlier questioned the bench whether passing of such order by a division bench comprising then Chief Justice Singh was a conflict of interest as both the judges were due to retire in January last year. (PTI)

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