Citizens' Mail (22.01.2019) | Daily News

Citizens' Mail (22.01.2019)

Phones at court premises

Recently when I entered the Chief Magistrate Court’s compound a Police Constable checked me physically and said mobile phone would not be allowed to be taken in. He said the order has come into effect from this year- (2019). This pushes a person into a very difficult situation and where can one keep it?

We know that if a hand phone rings inside a court room it would be an offence and relevant punishment given. From this year, if necessary the punishment could be doubled or trebled for such offence. But why insist not to bring the phone inside any part of the court premises.

This is practically a difficult prohibition. Because, if a need arises for one to contact a relative, a lawyer or an important person in regard to one’s case how will one be able to do it? Specially to a lawyer who will be rushing from one court to another to contact his or her client? Or from someone to give a message of a serious matter like sickness to a parent or house in fire, as one will be inside court premises for hours.

Therefore, it is suggested that the authority concerned will consider this situation and allow a mobile phone to be in one’s possession with necessary advice displayed at the entrance of the main gate itself.

However, if it is compulsory that phones could not be allowed for reasons not known to the visitors or clients, then a counter should be opened at the entrance of the court itself to keep the phones. For this purpose, it is not suggested that recruitment should be done by the authority to be at the counter. Anyone could be allowed for this so-called self-employment providing a counter after a police clearance document. Charging rupees ten either for a phone/s or helmet of a person, providing an identity number for the item/s retained, is reasonable and certainly the counter person will surely have a good income.

Nazly Cassim
Colombo 13


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