Paint,polish and lights to give court a special look

Renovation works are on a war footing at the special court inside the Arthur Road jail where Ajmal Kasab,the lone surviving terrorist of the 26/11 attack,will be tried.

Written by Mustafa Plumber | Mumbai | Published: February 23, 2009 3:38:37 am

Kasab trial : Chargesheet within two or three days,says public prosecutor

Renovation works are on a war footing at the special court inside the Arthur Road jail where Ajmal Kasab,the lone surviving terrorist of the 26/11 attack,will be tried. The court was earlier used for the trial of the 1993 serial bomb blasts case.

The Public Works Department is working 24×7 to give a fresh look to the court,which has not seen any major renovation in the past 15 years. The courtroom,housed on the first floor of the ‘third barrack’ inside the jail,has an entrance from the backdoor of the prison.

Sources said the initiative to carry out the renovation came from special judge M L Tahilyani and he is personally overseeing the work. According to them,Judge Tahilyani was rather annoyed at the dilapidated state of the premises on his first visit to the court. He immediately called the PWD engineer and directed the renovation.

Meanwhile,special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said the chargesheet in the 26/11 case will be filed “within two to three days”. “As it is a serious case,it will be committed to the special court constituted in the Arthur Road Jail where Kasab will be tried,” Nikam said.

Sources said the courtroom is being painted white; the wooden railings,the dock,the judge’s wooden dais are all being freshly polished in dark brown. New fans and CFL tubelights are being installed. The grimy sliding windows will be cleaned. Also,the courtroom will see a major layout change. The single courtroom that was built after breaking down three cells to accommodate the over 100 accused in the 1993 serial blasts case will be made smaller,as there are only three accused in this case. The back benches will now be separated from the courtroom by a wooden partition. The separated portion will house the registrar’s office. The special court will have a separate registrar to look after the day-to-day operations,as in the case of the 1993 blasts case. The ground floor that housed the administration and registrar’s offices will now be closed completely,except for a water-cooler and toilet.

The judge’s chamber is also being made bigger than the one that was used by special judge P D Kode. The dated air-conditioning unit inside the judge’s chamber will be replaced with a new split-AC. New upgraded computers will replace the earlier ones.

Sources said the state home department is likely to give a separate vehicle to Judge Tahilyani for his transportation. They said the police is also working on a detailed security arrangement for the judge. The second barrack earlier used by the CBI is being sealed now. Sources said the accused will be kept here when the court takes breaks during the trial and this will ensure minimum media interaction with the accused.

* Fresh coat of white paint,replacing present limestone paint
* Dark brown polish for wooden railings,dock,judge’s dais
* New fans,CFL tube lights
* Clean-up for grimy sliding windows
* New layout for courtroom; to be made smaller with back benches partitioned off
* Separate office for a registrar,in portion partitioned
* Ground floor closed; earlier housed registrar’s office
* Larger judge’s chamber
* Upgraded air-conditioning for judge’s chamber
* New-age computers

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