Dry toilet in chamber forces judge to take up matter in court

Courts across the country might be flooded with cases,but when it comes to water,it seems,they are not better off than residential areas.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published: July 19, 2010 1:53:41 am


Courts across the country might be flooded with cases,but when it comes to water,it seems,they are not better off than residential areas. Ask Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Kumar who has been trying his best to restore water supply to the toilet attached to his chamber in the Rohini Courts Complex for over six months.

With taps in his Room Number 308 running dry despite many complaints to the authorities concerned,a frustrated ASJ Kumar asked his staff to requests the caretaker of the complex as well as the office of the Administrative Civil Judge of Rohini. Left with no option but to use common washrooms or share those in other chambers despite repeated reminders to judicial officers and engineers concerned,ASJ Kumar ensured that his written complaints were delivered by hand to the officials concerned. When that too did not work,the judge was left with no option but to move court itself.

Early this week,ASJ Kumar brought all these facts into the records of the court and took a formal “judicial note” of the laxity of the officials. “I am constrained to take judicial notice that in the chamber of this courtroom there is no water supply,which causes great harassment and inconvenience. Already oral and written complaints have been made to the learned Administrative Civil Judge and also to the in-charge of the Caretaker Branch. This fact was also apprised to Assistant Engineer (Civil) and Junior Engineer (Civil),but for the last six months,this problem persists,” his order said.

Mentioning that no solution could be found despite innumerable requests,the judge issued notices to all of them,asking them “to appear in person to explain why (the problem of) water supply in the chamber could not be solved for the last six months and why legal action be not initiated against them”. Observing that inconvenience caused due to shortage of water did lead to “obstruction in the administration of justice in the court”,ASJ Kumar sought explanations within a day from all officers,including the fellow judge.

Shaken by the unprecedented order,all of those named,including the Administrative Civil Judge,showed up in the court and said attempts were being made to correct the problem. But dissatisfied with their answers,ASJ Kumar directed the PWD to come up with a specific answer as to what was causing the water scarcity in his chamber when other rooms in the court complex had no such problem. The junior engineer has till Monday to respond.

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