Rajahmundry: Lack of proper accommodation for the newly set up AP High Court has irked judges, judicial employees, petitioners, advocates and other stakeholders in the state.
Despite submitting an affidavit by the AP government in the Supreme Court to complete the construction of buildings to accommodate the AP High Court by the end of December, 2018, it failed to do so and this resulted in hurriedly setting up the High Court in the CM’s Camp Office to make it functional from January 1, 2019, as both the Centre and Supreme Court fixed that date trusting the affidavit fr-om the state government.
Though each judge requires a chamber to run his/her office and a court hall to conduct hearings with proper space, the High Court judges are allotted very limited space to run offices and court halls with a great deal of adjustment.
The judges are also being accommodated in a private hotel as no official accommodation is available, for a long time resulting in misuse of tax payers’ money.
Some judges are learnt to be staying in hired accommodation. However, there is a need to expedite construction of accommodation for judges in the upcoming Justice City.
On the other hand, there is no facility for filing of cases at the AP High Court as it is located nearly 1.5 km distance away, and no place to accommodate six to seven registrars. No office space for judicial employees and no place for advocates to sit and interact with petitioners and file cases.
The Statutory body of AP advocates called AP Bar Council is functioning from a small shed belonging to the irrigation department for want of place from where the AP High Court is functioning at present.
Moreover, the HC is taking up hearing of only a few cases filed in 2018 while those filed before 2018 are not being taken up because the court records are in the erstwhile common Hyderabad High Court and yet to be moved to AP HC. According to an estimate, nearly 1.70 lakh cases are pending for hearing at present.
With regard to the temporary AP HC complex coming up at Nelapadu, there are no amenities like transport, bank, post office, canteens, photostat machines, typewriters and others at present, which is an inconvenience because if petitioners want to file cases in the HC, they are supposed to pay a court fee in the banks, and in the absence of a post office, registered post to the petitioners and to others cannot be done.
Judicial employees and advocates are hiring flats at far off places by paying monthly rentals of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 and above per month to attend to court duty. Some go back to Hyderabad during weekends to spend their time with their family members as they are staying there for reasons like children’s education and spouses’ job.
Judicial employees, petitioners and advocates expressed concern about how the state government intended to run the AP High Court in the CM’s Camp Office for several months without providing proper facilities.
The other question is how the HC will function in the temporary HC co-mplex coming up at Nel-apadu without providing even basic amenities.
AP Bar Council member Muppala Subba Rao said, “The entire legal fraternity including judges, judicial employees, advocates, petitioners and other stakeholders are facing severe hardship as a result of accommodating Andhra Pradesh High Court in the CM’s Camp Office without providing minimum facilities. It is time, the state government should make the temporary HC complex at Nelapudu with all requisite amenities ready as early as possible to help the HC function with dignity and deliver justice to the people.”