The increase in the number of civil courts to accommodate more litigation hasn’t gone down well with criminal lawyers as more cases are being transferred to the Sewri sessions court due to due to shortage of criminal courts. Lawyers claim that shuttling between the sessions court at Kalaghoda and Sewri could delay trials.
On August 28, the state had issued a notification bringing into force various amended sections of the Bombay City Civil Court (Amendment) Act, 2012, with effect from September 1. Following this, more than 30,000 cases pending before the HC will be transferred to the city civil court.
Sources said with the increase in pecuniary jurisdiction of the sessions courts and the corresponding increase in the number of litigation, more courts have been given the charge to try civil cases. Earlier there were only 13 courts, which have now been increased to 24.
However, this means the number of criminal courts has reduced and many cases have been transferred to Sewri court.
Apart from the special courts established under special statues, the sessions court at Kalaghoda now has only five to six courts to deal with the criminal cases, sources said.
Claiming that the change was creating trouble for criminal lawyers, Sudeep Pasbola, president of City Civil And Sessions Court Bar Association, said, “We are going to protest. Going to Sewri court will make things difficult not only for lawyers, but also litigants.”
Pasbola said there were less judges at the Sewri court. “Most of them are ad-hoc one who do not have the power to try cases where the punishment is of more then 10 years,” he said.