The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has served a notice to seal the premises of the city school tribunal, which has already been declared dangerous.
The state government has, however, failed to respond to requests for providing alternative premises to the tribunal as well as to the co-operative court, on an immediate basis.
The Bombay high court has taken suo-motu cognisance of the apathetic approach of the state government towards the lower judiciary. A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice SJ Vazifdar last week directed the state to respond to the suo-motu proceedings within four weeks.
The court has initiated the proceedings on the basis of a report submitted by its registrar general on December 14 stating the wretched condition of the lower judiciary.
The report highlights the plight of the city school tribunal, stating the state government had failed to respond to requests for shifting the tribunal to any other place in view of the notice issued by the BMC for sealing the premises at Grant Road (East).
“Repeated requests to shift the school tribunal to a suitable premises have fallen on deaf ears,” states the report, adding, “things have come to such a pass that the school tribunal is required to be shut down on account of immediate threat to human life and property due to dangerous and dilapidated condition of the building.”
“On the other hand, a decree of eviction has been passed in respect of the premises wherein the co-operative courts are housed. Yet, the state has not taken steps to alleviate the genuine concerns of the judicial department,” the report states.
The registrar general’s report also highlights the pathetic state of the acquisition of 19 plots reserved for courts and residential quarters of judges in Mumbai. “Fifteen years have elapsed since the declaration of the reservation in the development plan. Yet, the possession of only two plots have been delivered to the judicial department for construction of court buildings,” it reads.
The Slum Rehabilitation Authority, on some of these reserved plots, has sanctioned slum rehabilitation schemes. A plot at Rocky Hill, to be used for residential quarters of judges has been allotted to the legislative secretariat.
Various plots reserved for court buildings and complexes in the state have met with a similar fate. The report also highlights meager budgetary provisions for the lower judiciary in the state.