The Maharashtra government is once again facing fire from the Bombay high court over delay in handing over court premises in the state.
“We have been begging you practically for the last six months, but you are not doing anything,” said an irritated Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar.
Hindustan Times had carried a five-part series in September highlighting the insufficient infrastructure and staff coupled with non-implementation of plans leading to high pendency of cases in Maharashtra.
Additional public prosecutor K.R. Belosay informed the court that a court building would be constructed in Beed district but they (government) were waiting for the zilla parishad to hand over the land.
Belosay said that they have written letters to the zilla parishad asking them to hand over government land for constructing the building. “But we have not received reply from the zilla parishad,” said Belosay.
The division bench of chief justice and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar inquired whether the zilla parishads were not part of the government and not bound by its (government’s) orders.
The chief justice said: “You have failed to do anything for the last one-and-half years. As a result, judicial complex is blocked for years. If somebody really wishes, it’s a matter of half-an-hour. There is no facility for public, no bar rooms for lawyers and no courtrooms for judges.”
The lack of infrastructure and basic facilities in the lower court came under the high court’s scanner while hearing a public interest litigation filed in 2007 by Pramod Thakur, President of Panvel Taluka Bar Association. He had sought implementation of earlier HC order, which asked the government to set up a separate sessions court in Panvel.
The high court has directed the government to get the letter by Monday from the zilla parishad formally handing over the possession of the land to government for court premises.