Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court has asked the government not to shift the district courts to newly constructed judicial complex at Chakkar without orders from the High Court.
In response to an application moved by the district bar association, a division bench consisting of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Sanjay Karol directed that the district courts would not be shifted to the newly constructed judicial complex at Chakkar without orders of the High Court.
The court observed that the home department had failed to reply to the bar associations application within the stipulated time of one month that was sought.
Ceding the governments’ plea for more time, the case has now been listed for 23rd August. The bench warned “in case no reply is filed on that date, it shall be presumed that they have no objection to the prayer of District Bar Association.”
The lawyers have been resisting moving into the new judicial complex and have moved the High Court about shifting all authorities, tribunals, district consumer forum and revenue courts to the new judicial complex before the district courts are moved there.
The district bar’s application further says that the new complex sufficient place needs to be made available for lawyers’ chambers and car parking as lack of it was detrimental to their interests as well as to the general public.
On its part, the government submitted that Rs 25.10 crore had been spent on construction of the new judicial complex.
Last year in November-December, the lawyers had resorted to an aggressive agitation in which even an effigy of a former chief justice was burnt; they had resisted a move to shift to the new complex.
Reprimanding the lawyers, a division bench of the High Court consisting of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice VK Ahuja on December 15, 2010 had observed that the decision to construct the new complex at Chakkar was taken in May, 2007, which was never challenged by the bar association.
“That being so, after three years, what is the legal or moral justification in taking things to the street?” the order had stated.
In comparison to the 13 courts that are there in the congested old district courts complex, housed in the DC office complex close to city centre Mall Road, the new complex has 21 courts.
For making a road and creating other infrastructural facilities at the Chakkar site, as many as 484 trees have been felled, the court order had recorded.