The SAS Nagar district courts were finally shifted to New Judicial Complex in Sector 76, constructed at a cost of Rs 86 crore, on Saturday. The courts were operating from a community centre building in Phase 3B1.
Chaos ruled the first day as the complex failed to accommodate all staff members due to lack of space. Of the 23 court rooms, only 14 are complete in Block 1. Some lawyers even staged a dharna demanding adequate space in the complex.
Mad scramble for space
Only four rooms have been allotted to 12 public prosecutors at the new complex. The clerical staff has to sit outside the rooms of public prosecutors. Even the naib courts have been adjusted in rooms allotted to public prosecutors. Nothing seems to have changed for the employees at the new complex as they were facing the same problem in the small building of community centre in Phase 3B1.
The lawyers chambers are yet to be constructed in the complex thus they have to work from a temporary shed which would have a provision for 130 temporary cubicles. “The temporary place offers around 130 chambers which is not adequate looking at the number of lawyers in the SAS court,” said advocate HS Hundal.
“Only those lawyers who are regularly practicing in SAS Nagar district courts would be allotted the chambers. A meeting was held on Saturday in which it was decided that three-four lawyers would be given one chamber. This means around 400 lawyers can be accommodated in these cubicles.,” said advocate Amarjit Singh Longia.
He added: “The lawyers who don’t practice regularly in SAS Nagar are pressuring the administration to allot chambers to them and are resorting to protest.”
Moreover, many vehicles were seen parked on the road due to lack of parking space in the new complex.
Clueless litigants hunt for courts
Litigants were also at the receiving end as some of them reached the old court complex. The one’s who reached the new complex had difficulty in locating the court rooms and had to over a kilometre to reach the district courts.