SC says logical that there should be Judicial Vista, seeks Centre’s stand

The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Centre’s views on a plea seeking construction of a judicial vista on land around the court stating that it is “logical” and will address the issue of infrastructure shortage.

A bench of Justices Vineet Saran and J K Maheshwari said: “It is a logical and correct thing that there should be judicial vista in a planned manner. The growth of buildings and all are unplanned, something’s coming up here, something’s coming up there… It is a matter in which normally we wouldn’t be inclined to pass directions but we would definitely like the Union of India to consider this and take a decision.”

The bench told the Centre to appraise the court of its stand on Tuesday.

“…We just want to know stand of the Union of India. Let Solicitor General be here… list tomorrow on top of the board. We just need a statement. Ask him to inform what is the stand,” said the bench.

The court was hearing a plea by Advocate Ardhendurmauli Kumar Prasad, who said the present infrastructure is not sufficient and urged that the area around the court be redeveloped as judicial vista.

Taking up the plea, the court said that “to do proper work, the Supreme Court must have proper establishment”.

The petition seeks construction of a multi-storey complex with court rooms and lawyers chambers, underground car parking facilities, adequate office, working and waiting space for law officers, advocates and standing counsel, besides dedicated office space for lawyer bodies.

In July 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind had inaugurated an Additional Block of the Supreme Court, to address the infrastructure shortages of the present Supreme Court complex. It was constructed on land measuring 12.19 acres abutting the Pragati Maidan. Built at an estimated cost of Rs 900 crores by the CPWD under the guidance of its Director General, it has a total built-up area of 1,80,700 sq.mts with provision to park 1,800 cars.

The building has two “world class auditoriums” having seating capacity of about 620 and 250 people and also houses a conference-cum-meeting room besides several chambers for lawyers and is connected to the existing Supreme Court Campus by three all-weather underground passages.

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