You don't need photo ID to enter HC now

Delhi judges support UP resident who couldn't enter after being stopped at gate.

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Cautious of possible repercussions, Sajid Ali, a UP resident,  had started early in the morning from Aligarh and reached the Delhi High Court well before time to appear in a hearing related to a matrimonial dispute.

Ali had challenged a lower court’s order directing him to pay maintenance to his wife and three children. But all his attempts turned futile when he was denied entry inside the court premises – all because of his inability to exhibit a photo identity card. And how could he have an id, for he was an unskilled labourer.

Ali’s failure to get justice while standing at the court’s door stirred judges to debate all pertinent aspects of litigants accessing the premises of the Delhi High Court, which was converted into a fortress after the September 2011 bomb blasts outside Gate no 5.

In fact, one of the judges hearing Ali’s matter even said that a committee should be constituted to suggest appropriate security measures while simultaneously ensuring access to justice.

The judicial debate that followed Ali’s absence in the court room finally led the court to rule that issues relating to litigants’ entry do not require a committee.

The court said that the issue must be sorted out administratively by appointing officials to ensure that people “are not denied entry only because they do not have a photo id”.

Noting that it was a matter of “extreme concern that a litigant could not enter the premises of this court on account of not having a photo identity card”, the Court said that “access to justice could not be sacrificed at the altar of security, but at the same time security issues could also not be trivialised”.

It ruled that the administrative staff deployed at the HC premises should regulate entry in such a manner that “no litigant is denied entry to the court, and that access is available to every person who bona fide visits a court”.

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