TO ENSURE that the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has a comfortable stay during its visit to Chandigarh this summer, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has written to the UT administration for installation of seven air-conditioners (ACs) in the courtroom on the third floor of the commission building in Sector 19.
In the two-page letter written to secretary, food and supplies and consumer affairs, administration, it was mentioned that the national commission has proposed to hold the circuit bench sitting in Chandigarh during July-August this year. The last sitting of the circuit bench was in 2014 from November 17, 2014, to November 28, 2014, on the third floor of the office building of the consumer commission at Sector 19.
The commission had renovated the third floor for the purpose in 2014. After its visit in 2014, the circuit bench visited the city in 2015 and 2016 as well to take up cases from Haryana and Punjab, respectively.
As the three sittings were held during winters, no ACs were installed in the courtroom on the third floor.
As it is for the first time that the commission was coming to hold the circuit bench during summer, the commission has requested the administration to install at least seven ACs for smooth functioning of the circuit bench.
“There are many courtrooms lying vacant in the High Court, district courts where the circuit bench can hold its sitting. Also, the rooms available at the Chandigarh Judicial Academy can be utilised to hold the court. If the vacant courtrooms are used, then there will be no need to install ACs on the third floor of the building,” said advocate Ashish Gupta.
Prashant Goel, a practising lawyer in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, said, “As the circuit bench comes just once a year, there is no point spending money on installing ACs. The administration can think of other alternatives.”
The third floor of the office building was earlier allotted to the pension branch of the High Court. The pension branch was shifted to Sector 17 later, leaving the third floor vacant.
The commission has requested the administration to take up the matter of holding the court of the circuit bench with the registrar of the High Court.
The commission has even urged the food and civil supplies secretary to request the chief engineer of the engineering department to install seven ACs in the courtroom and chambers on time.