Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Saturday said that the poor condition of court buildings was making it difficult to effectively deliver justice, PTI reported. Ramana was speaking at the inauguration of two wings of a building of the Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad bench, in the presence of Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju.
“The judicial infrastructure for courts in India has always been an afterthought,” Ramana said, according to NDTV. “It is because of this mindset that courts in India still operate with dilapidated structures, making it difficult to perform effectively.”
Ramana said that only 5% of the courts in India can provide basic medical aid during emergencies. He also said that 26% courts in the country did not have toilets for women and 16% courts did not have toilets at all.
“Nearly 50% of the court complexes don’t have a library, and 46% of the court complexes don’t have the facility to purify water,” he said.
Ramana said the infrastructure of courts needed to be developed so that the citizens can access justice easily, according to PTI. “It’s baffling to note that the improvement and maintenance of judicial infrastructure is still being carried out in an ad-hoc and unplanned manner,” he said. “The financial autonomy of the judiciary is integral.”
He said that the building that was inaugurated in Aurangabad on Saturday was proposed in 2011. “That it has taken 10 years for this vision to be implemented is extremely worrisome,” he said. “This is a deeper problem that has plagued the judicial infrastructure planning in our country since the Independence.”
The chief justice of India has proposed formation of the National Judicial Infrastructural Authority to look after the buildings related to judiciary in India. He added that he was hoping for a positive response on the proposal from Union Minister Rijiju.