67% of Indian court complexes have poor judicial structure, Indian newspaper

New Delhi, May 92 (KM S): The proverb ‘Charity begins at home’ was used by Indian newspaper The Times of India for poor judicial structure adding that the “proverb appears to have got lost in the [Indian] judicial corridors.”

As per the Indian newspaper, the Supreme Court in 2017 mandated all public buildings to effect structural changes to become disabled friendly, but a whopping 67% of court complexes are yet to implement the verdict.

As per a report compiled by the Supreme Court Registry, “Only 33% of court complexes are differently-abled friendly.” After giving a series of directions on December 15, 2017 for making public buildings disabled friendly in accordance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2017, the SC took stock in January 2019.

On January 15, 2019, it had said, “More than a year has passed since the judgment was delivered. The indifferent attitude of the States and the Union Territories shows that they are not serious in complying with the directions contained in the judgment… We take strong exception to the lackluster attitude.” It had given three weeks to the states and UTs to implement its December 2017 judgment directions.

At a time when an extreme heatwave has gripped the country, judicial officers in 83% of courtrooms are sweating it out to read through bundles of case files and hear heated arguments from lawyers. For, only 17% of courtrooms have air-conditioning facilities as per the SC report.

In a communication to the Indian government, CJI N V Ramana had highlighted the abysmal condition of the court complexes across the country. Toilets, essential to ameliorate pressing daily needs of lawyers and litigants, are absent in 16% of the court complexes. As many as 26% of the court complexes have no washroom facilities for women.

The other deficiencies in court complexes are equally concerning: 95% of court complexes are not equipped with even basic medical facilities; 46% do not have purified drinking water facilities; 73% of courtrooms do not have computers placed on the judges’ dais with video-conferencing facilities; 68% courtrooms have no separate record rooms, and, 49% of court complexes have no library.