SC Says Plea For “Judicial Vista” Is Logical, Seeks Centre’s Opinion

On a petition filed by a lawyer seeking directions for the construction of a “Judicial Vista” near the Supreme Court for better working conditions and the setting up of an independent authority to deal with judicial infrastructure in the country, the Apex Court on Monday sought the stand of the Union Government, LiveLaw reported.  

The bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and JK Maheshwari orally observed: “It is a matter in which normally we wouldn’t be inclined to pass directions but we’d definitely like the Union of India to consider this and take a decision.”

Stressing that the present court premises are overcrowded and facilities are insufficient to cater to the needs of increasing number of lawyers, staff and litigants, the petition filed by Advocate Ardhendumauli Kumar Prasad sought for the construction of a “Judicial Vista” at the land adjoining the Supreme Court.

The demand for judicial vista is “logical and correct”, the bench observed. 

It is a logical and correct thing that there should be judicial vista in a planned manner. The growth of buildings and all are unplanned, something’s coming up here something’s coming up there. Just like you have Central Vista, you should have a….”, Justice Vineet Saran said, LiveLaw reported. 

Appearing in person, Advocate Ardhendumauli Kumar Prasad requested the bench to see “how lawyers are standing outside”.

“We quite see”, Justice Saran said. Seeking for the presence of the Solicitor General of India, the bench posted the matter for tomorrow. 

“We’re not asking or making directions that do this or that, we just want to know stand of the Union of India. Let SG be here… List tomorrow on top of the board, we just need a statement. Ask him to inform what is the stand”, the SC told centre’s counsel. 

The bench, reacting to the second prayer in the petition seeking directions to constitute an independent authority for judicial infrastructure, said: “It is not for courts to have everything in their hands. We’ve to do judicial work, but to do judicial work we must have proper establishment…”.

The Law Minister has sent proposal to all state governments for their views regarding a central infrastructural committee headed by CJI, the petitioner said. 

Appearing for the Supreme Court, Senior Advocate V Giri sought time to get instructions.

The matter will be considered tomorrow.

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 importantly the volume of cases, it has been argued in the petition. 

The plea argues that according to the details available on the website of the Ministry of Law and Justice, while there is sanctioned strength of 24291 Judicial officers in the country, there are only 20115 Court Halls available, only 17705 residential units for the Judges of Subordinate Judiciary.

Judicial Vista would ensure meeting the needs of the Court, Registry, Bar and the Litigants since it would result in construction of large Multi Level Complex having Court Rooms, around 50,000 chambers for Senior Advocates, AOR’s, substantial space for various Officers of Sections and Staff f the Registry, adequate medical facilities etc, said Prasad, who happens to be incumbent SCBA Secretary. 

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