SC issues notices to Centre, apex court registry on PIL seeking construction of judicial vista’

New Delhi, Mar 8 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought responses from the Centre and its Registry on a public interest litigation [PIL] seeking development of a judicial vista near the apex court premises to cater to the growing need of judicial infrastructure for all the courts including the subordinate judiciary, tribunals, the Delhi High Court and the bar in the national capital.

A bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Aniruddha Bose took note of the PIL, filed by lawyer Ardhendumauli Kumar Prasad, which also sought a direction to the Union Ministries of Law and Justice and the Housing and Urban Affairs to constitute a central authority, funded by the Consolidated Fund of India, to cater to the need of judicial infrastructure under the administrative control of the Chief Justice of India [CJI].

“Issue notice. Returnable on March 30”, the bench ordered after hearing brief submissions from Prasad who has filed the PIL in his personal capacity.

“The lack of judicial infrastructure, that is courtrooms, basic amenities, etc. for Judges, advocates and the litigants across the country, in the subordinate Judiciary and tribunals, is a very serious issue, and the lack of autonomy of the Judiciary in the matter, and the dependence on the Central Government and the State Government, defeats the cause of judicial independence,” the plea said.

“The judicial infrastructural independence is quintessential for the furtherance of the cause of judicial independence , and hence the need to set up a National Judicial Infrastructure Authority, and falls within the most basic fundamental rights of the constitution,” it said.

“The administration of justice is the most important part of the Constitution and is the basis for the Rule of Law, which is enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution. Having proper and adequate infrastructure for the Apex Court of the country, with its growing volume of work, and the growing Bar is essential for the realization of the rule of law.”

It has sought construction of a large multi-level complex of courtrooms with 45 to 50 courtrooms with video conferencing facilities and adequate seating facilities for lawyers, litigants, law clerks, and interns.

It has also sought the construction of a multi-level complex having around 5000 chambers for the senior advocates, advocates-on-record, and advocates along with the requisite facilities.

Besides, the plea has also sought proportionate creche facilities to cater to the several women working in the registry and women lawyers.