The Centre today told the Supreme Court that issues such as lack of proper infrastructure to cater to the growing need of the judiciary and the bar in the national capital can be looked into in consultation with the Apex Court registry.

A Bench comprising of Justice Vineet Saran and Justice J K Maheshwari termed as horrible the crowd situation in the Apex Court corridor, and said that something can be done by the central government. We do not go around in the corridors. It is horrible. Something has to be done by the Centre, the Bench said, adding that it was not for the Court to solve the problem.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said it was not an adversarial litigation and he was in touch with the government and the matter can be heard after four weeks.

The Bench took note of the submissions and said the problems pointed out in the petition can be looked into by the Centre in consultation with the Apex Court registry and petitioner lawyer and listed the PIL for hearing on July 20.

The Court, on March 8, had sought responses of the Centre and the Apex Court's registry on a PIL filed by Ardhendumauli Kumar Prasad seeking development of a "judicial vista" near the Apex Court premises to cater to the growing need of judicial infrastructure for all courts including the subordinate judiciary, tribunals, the Delhi High Court and the bar in the national capital.

Today, the Bench said that it wanted to know the stand of the Central government on the plea and listed the matter on Tuesday to hear from the solicitor general on the issue.

The PIL has also sought a direction to the Union Ministries of Law and Justice and the Housing and Urban Affairs to constitute a central authority, funded by the Consolidated Fund of India, to cater to the need of judicial infrastructure under the administrative control of the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

"The lack of judicial infrastructure, that is courtrooms, basic amenities, etc. for judges, advocates and litigants across the country, in the subordinate judiciary and tribunals, is a very serious issue, and the lack of autonomy of the judiciary in the matter, and the dependence on the Central Government and the State Government, defeats the cause of judicial independence," the plea said.

The judicial infrastructural independence is "quintessential for the furtherance of the cause of judicial independence", and hence the need to set up a National Judicial Infrastructure Authority, and falls within the most basic fundamental rights of the constitution, it said.

The administration of justice is the most important part of the Constitution and is the basis for the Rule of Law, which is enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution. Having proper and adequate infrastructure for the apex court of the country, with its growing volume of work, and the growing Bar is essential for the realisation of the rule of law.

It has sought construction of a large multi-level complex of courtrooms with 45 to 50 courtrooms with video conferencing facilities and adequate seating facilities for lawyers, litigants, law clerks, and interns.

It has also sought the construction of a multi-level complex having around 5000 chambers for senior advocates, advocates-on-record, and advocates along with requisite facilities. Besides, the plea had also sought proportionate creche facilities to cater to the several women working in the registry and women lawyers.

With PTI inputs