SC notice to Centre, court registry on plea to build a ‘judicial vista’ in Delhi
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the Centre’s response on a petition for developing a “judicial vista” on the land adjoining the Supreme Court building providing more office space for judges, lawyers and officials of the top court’s registry in addition to facilities for litigants.
A bench of justices Vineet Saran and Aniruddha Bose issued notice to the Centre and registrar general of the Supreme Court on a petition filed by advocate Ardhendumauli Kumar Prasad, who is also the secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association. The plea for a judicial vista, as the petitioner referred to the proposed complex to create additional office space for the top court, will be heard next on March 30.
In his petition, Prasad sought setting up an independent central authority under the administrative control of the Chief Justice of India to cater to the infrastructural requirement of the judiciary across the country, which will include high courts, subordinate courts and tribunals established under various laws.
The petition comes at a time when the Central Vista is being redeveloped by the Union government providing for all government offices, residences of top constitutional political functionaries and a new Parliament building within the Central Vista complex.
Stressing on the need for a Judicial Vista, the petition said, “The infrastructure that is available at the Supreme Court is disproportionate to the growth of the court in terms of number of judges, the registry, the bar, and most important the volume of cases.”
According to Prasad, who appeared in person, the new complex should provide for a multi-level complex of about 50 courtrooms with video conferencing facility and adequate seating capacity, multi-level chamber complex for lawyers, underground multilevel parking, office space for registry staff and law officers of central government, library, waiting longue and conference rooms among other facilities.
Proposing the location for a judicial vista, the petition said, “At present, the area situated between Bhagwandas Road, Tilak Marg, Tilak Lane, Purana Qila Road and Mathura Road is government land, over which old government accommodations are situated, besides the two new chamber complexes (for Supreme Court lawyers), Indian Law Institute and Indian Society for International Law and surrounding area including bungalows for the Centre, foreign correspondents club, etc can be used for the creation of the Judicial Vista with a long term goal of adequate infrastructure for decades to come.”