For the Capitals Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT),sharing the building premises with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is a security risk and a seasonal headache. A PIL filed on Wednesday in the Supreme Court by the vice-president of the tribunals bar association sought a change of address.
At present,the DRT,set up in 1993 and responsible for the speedy recovery of public money due to banks from defaulters,is housed inside the Sanskriti Bhawan premises at Jhandewalan. The building is owned by the RSS,whose office is also located inside it.
The petition filed Wednesday,in the name of advocate Vivek Singh,says the shifting of the DRT office is necessary as it is situated in the RSS headquarters and there is always a security risk.
Citing the August 2011 bomb blast in the Delhi High Court premises,the petition adds: The security system is so poor that any person can enter the court premises… it is pertinent to mention that recently the Delhi High Court had a terrorist attack and the safety and the security of the courts including the Supreme Court,High Court and district courts were tightened. Therefore,excepting the DRT courts,every court in Delhi has proper security.
The petition adds that since the building is situated within the premises of RSS headquarters…during the time of functions and religious activities of the RSS,the working of the DRT is affected severely.
Stating that there is a Hindu temple of goddess,it says the functioning of the court is affected twice a year during Navratra. Therefore,during this period it is very difficult for a litigant or any other person including the employees to attend court, says the PIL.
Incidentally,the RSS had given notice to the DRT to vacate the premises about a year-and-a-half back. The RSS is the owner and the Ministry of Finance is holding the tenancy for DRT. The RSS wants the DRT to vacate the premises because they need more space for their own functions. Also the premises becomes crowded with lawyers cars parked all over the place, said Harsh Pratap Sharma,Singhs advocate in the SC.
The PIL also describes the pathetic condition of the building,which houses a total of three courts,two of which function from the basement. During the rainy season,water-logging takes place and even the learned presiding officers/ judges of the DRT have to come at night to shift the files, it says.
The tribunal has three presiding officers,three registrars and six recovery officers,who occupy the premises which houses original documents like title deeds and mortgage papers of litigants worth crores of rupees.