Getting justice for a resident of the remotely located 185 villages in Bhiwandi taluka is an expensive affair. Lack of a self-sufficient court complex means litigants travel 35 km all the way to Thane for a hearing.
“Due to inadequate availability of courts, the litigants from these villages are compelled to travel all the way to Thane,” observed S. S. Borkar, member and ex-secretary of the Taluka Bar Association.
“Ultimately that makes their litigation more costly,” he added.
A proposal for new court building for housing 12 courtrooms is pending government approval despite lawyers constantly demanding a sessions and senior division court for the last nineteen years.
As a result, nearly 5,000 cases are pending.
At present, six courts — five civil and one criminal — exist in two different buildings.
The main court building, where four courts are functional, is a 152-year old two-storey colonial structure, also housing the bar room.
On the left side of the compound, exist the other two courts in a separate ground floor construction.
G.N. Patkar, another member of the association said that the delay in erecting new court building at Bhiwandi has been caused due to opposition from members of Thane District Bar Association.
“Presently we are compelled to hand over criminal cases to the court in Thane,” said Kailash Patil, treasurer of the Taluka Bar Association.
The proposal for the new court building was prepared by the public works department and forwarded to the state in August last year.
But instead of starting work on the proposed building, the state government constructed a temporary structure adjacent to the existing court building for accommodating two more courts — one of Additional District Judge and another of a Senior Division judge.
However, these two courts have not started functioning even after completion of the temporary structure.
“The funds required for the judges, staffs, and other infrastructure have still not been allocated despite our repeated correspondence with state administration and the high court,” Arun Patil, Vice President of the Taluka Bar Association told Hindustan Times.