Attorney General K K Venugopal on Wednesday raised the issue of congestion in courtrooms of the Supreme Court and called upon the “powers that be” to find a solution. Addressing a gathering on the occasion of Independence day celebrations on the Supreme Court lawns, he pointed that it was difficult for lawyers to move inside the courtrooms.
He said a petition for live-streaming was pending before the court and it would help reduce the crowd if there are designated centres from where lawyers, clients, interns etc can watch the proceedings. Venugopal said another solution could be to have a separate building and bigger courtrooms by merging the existing ones. However, this was expensive, he said.
Supreme Court Bar Association President Vikas Singh said the question of decongesting courts has already been discussed with the Registry and CJI and plans were afoot to tweak the existing arrangements in such a manner that the middle aisle will only be for lawyers to go towards the bench and present their case. However, they will not be able to return through the same route and will have to exit via the two sides. “We have requested Registry to keep a gap between the first and second row so that people who want to go out can use this space,” Singh said, adding that the changes may be introduced next week.
In a bid to avoid overcrowding, two benches led by Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Madan B Lokur have started taking a 15-minute break from 11.15 am to 11.30 am. Lawyers and clients who have cases listed after 11.30 am do not have to rush to the court at the start of the day’s hearing at 10.30 am.
In his address, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said he doubted if he could comment on the A-G’s remarks. However, he said he was “open for suggestions and follow up action” and that he was willing to offer whatever help he could to tide over the problem.