Waiting for a court
From a rented 200-year-old building, the Igatpuri taluka court has been passing judgments for the last nine decades. And it is waiting for its own court building since land for it was allotted 16 years ago. Vignesh Iyer reports.india Updated: Sep 22, 2009 01:32 IST
From a rented 200-year-old building, the Igatpuri taluka court has been passing judgments for the last nine decades.
And it is waiting for its own court building since land for it was allotted 16 years ago.
Although land was acquired for new court building for the tribal taluka court way back in 1993, litigants still wait outside the rented building’s tiny courtrooms -accommodating hardly 20 persons at a time.
And lawyers sit out in the corridors for lack of space inside the building.
Little surprise then that this lack of facilities has resulted in the number of pending cases crossing 3,000.
Members of the local bar association say the public works department has shown an apathetical attitude towards constructing the new court building.
“The land was acquired in 1993, but not even a brick has been placed there,” said Suryabhan Sahane, President of Igatpuri Taluka Bar Association.
The present court structure houses two magistrates and has more than 40 advocates, besides the court staffs.
“The court halls in the exiting building are very small, hence litigants have to stand in the court compound till their names are called out. The the bar room measures just 40 square feet, which means many lawyers have to sit in the corridors and in the compound outside,” added Sahane.
Yuvraj Jadhav, former president of the bar association said, “Rs 90 lakh is being provided for construction of the new court building at Igatpuri in every state budget since 1999, but funds get lapsed due to non utilisation.”
Now the PWD is saying it cannot construct the building with the amount sanctioned in 1999, due to rise in construction costs, added Jadhav.
“PWD has now estimated the cost for constructing the building at Rs 1.5 crore,” said Nirmala Sampat Jadav, secretary of the bar association.
The lawyers in the bar association said that they have made many representations to the government but it has fallen on their deaf ears.
“We have repeated got only one thing from them — assurance,” chuckles Sahane.
When Hindustan Times tried to speak to the court officials it was told that there is no public information officer (PIO) in the court. “We are not expecting a palace, but a structure at least with the basic facilities must be there,” says Vijaymala Vaze, vice president of the bar association.
But for 90 years, all that exists in place of a court building is a two acre plot of land of wild grass and rocks.