The coordination committee of all district bar associations of Delhi has asked lawyers to “abstain” from work in all district courts Friday to protest the shifting of Patiala House Courts Complex.
A few years ago, Delhi government’s public works department (PWD) had started the process of constructing an eight-storey building at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, Rouse Avenue — the proposed site for the new courts.
Instead, the committee said the new courts can be established in areas such as Pragati Maidan, Appu Ghar, Safdarjung Airport or adjoining areas of Bhairon Mandir.
The committee raised the issue of jurisdiction vis-à-vis the location of the new complex.
“The proposed complex does not fall in the territory of the New Delhi district. It falls in the jurisdiction of I P Estate police station, in the Central district,” said the committee. The committee asserted that setting up a court complex outside its own jurisdiction was “improper” and would “defeat the purpose of justice at doorstep”.
The committee also cited chaotic traffic situation in the proposed area and said traffic snarls would only increase. It cited the ‘pandemonium’ seen during the recent Delhi University Students’ Union elections.
“This kind of situation happens every now and then, and surely it will create hurdles for litigants, lawyers and even judicial officers to reach courts on time.”
Stating that the decision of shifting courts should be kept in abeyance, the committee said the department of law and justice, Government of India, had indicated that the proposed building would have a provision for 400 chambers for advocates, but the building plan did not show any such provision. The committee also pointed out that the decision to shift the court complex was taken without consulting lawyers and their representative body.