Gujarat Plus - Gujarat on Web
Rediscover Gujrat .....Rediscover the Gujrati in You
Cases drag on in city courts for want of infrastructure Friday, September 28, 2001
Source Courtsey : Times News Network
AHMEDABAD: * Ashok Bakshi, an accused under section 409 and 114 of the IPCode for breach of trust and abetment in a criminal act, has been awaiting trial since 1986. Bakshi's case is pending in court number 5 of Ahmedabad City Metropolitan Court and not a single witness has been examined to date.
* Kishore Natwarwal, another accused is facing charges similar to Bakshi in at least three cases. In his case too not a single witness was examined by the court though the cases were filed between 1985 and 1989.
* Karsan Das filed a discharge application in the court number 15 in 1992, accused under section 106 and 120 B of IPC for inflicting physical injuries to other person in self-defence and hatching a criminal conspiracy. He is still waiting for court's direction.
Oft-repeated and now cliched 'justice delayed is justice denied', still has to make sense, at least for the state legal department.
Slackness, which has become synonymous with the government department, has been putting scores of litigants at Ahmedabad City Metropolitan Court through undue hardships for the past couple of months. Cases are frequently adjourned as eight of the twenty courts under the Ahmedabad City Metropolitan Court are non-functional for want of proper infrastructure.
"The courts are not functioning due to insufficient space, as the metropolitan court was allotted limited blocks," BM Gupta, newly elected secretary Ahmedabad Criminal Court Bar Association, said. The court rooms here resemble pigeon holes, not big enough to even properly accommodate court furniture required for conduct of a trial.
"We have been allotted two more blocks, but it will take some time before courts resume work as renovation work is still required," SA Chauhan, registrar, Ahmedabad City Metropolitan Court, said.
Though he was non-committal on resumption of normal functioning, Chauhan said the court was awaiting state government's sanction for estimates and plans submitted for renovation in newly allotted premises.
"We have sanctioned Rs 79 lakh for renovation at the new premises of Metropolitan Court at Meghaninagar. Now, the job has to be done by R&B department at the site," PD Gujarathi, Secretary Legal Department, told TNN.
And, with each passing day cases are piling up before courts, which are already weighed down by a backlog of some four lakh cases, besides fresh additions -- approximately 20,000 new cases every month -- court sources said.
Besides courts, some 1,900 advocates enrolled with Ahmedabad Criminal Court Bar Association and 250 other non-member advocates are lacking in even the basic amenities, such as proper seating arrangements, drinking water and urinals.
Though court has allocated five sheds for seating arrangement to practising advocates, many of them have taken refuge in parking stands while others have constructed platforms and sheds in the open.
"There is a 70 per cent drop in clients coming for affidavits, power of attorney and other legal formalities because of the distance," C D Ghori, an advocate and notary, said.
Not to talk of the reference libraries the court officials have to shuttle between -- Meghaninagar to Mirzapur and Gheekanta Court premises -- for looking up old records.
"The sessions and rural courts are in the centre of the city while metropolitan court has been shifted to a far corner of the city," Balwantsinh Chauhan, another advocate, said.
The problem for the accused, litigants and public at large started earlier this year when it was decided to construct a new premises for the court at the original location of the court at Gheekanta. The court was subsequently shifted to Mirzapur court premises but after the earthquake in January this year it was again moved to Meghaninagar in May.
Insiders apprehend that the construction of the new court complex may overshoot the scheduled time frame of 30 months.
News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]