Until and unless the Bombay High Court cracks the whip on the government officials, nothing gets done. No sooner did the high court summon the secretaries of the planning, finance and revenue departments of the government in the first sessions asking them to remain present at 3 pm in the court, Rs 7.82 crore was sanctioned within minutes required for repairs and construction of courts in Maharashtra.
Hindustan Times carried a five-part series starting on September 21, highlighting the insufficient infrastructure and staff coupled with non-implementation of plans leading to high pendency of cases in Maharashtra.
The division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar has also asked the government to release Rs 2 crore required for final completion of two court buildings — one at Wadgaon, Pune and the other at Dhamangaon, Amravati. “Both these buildings have to be completely ready by October 31 for use,” remarked chief justice.
As far as Amravati court building is concerned, the ground plus one storey structure is ready. Only plastering and finishing touches remain to be done, said Girish Godbole, counsel for the high court. Substantial works needs to be completed at Pune.
When the Chief Justice asked additional government pleader K R Belosay why funds were not given for the court buildings, the latter replied that the funds haven’t received it as yet.
“Your left hand does not give the funds to your right hand, and you cite that as an excuse,” quipped chief justice.
The Chief Justice also remarked: “They (government) can raise structures in 48 hours when they want. But where court complexes are concerned, technicalities come in and nothing gets done for months.”
Giving a final warning to the secretaries who were present in the court, chief justice remarked that the two court buildings be completed by October 31 or they would have to face the consequences.
“You better complete it by October 31 or the law will take its own course,” said the Chief Justice. Principal secretaries of Planning and Finance, Sunil Soni and Vidhyadhar Kanade, respectively were present in the court along with additional chief secretary of Revenue, JP Dange.