Delhi HC defers hearing plea on water fountain at Tis Hazari

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday posted for Thursday a public suit seeking a stay on the construction of a water fountain in Tis Hazari court complex and cancellation of the sanction for the project.

The plea filed by journalist Pankaj Yadav sought a direction to the Centre to divert the funds instead to provide basic facilities to disabled persons and sanitary facilities in district courts for litigants.

A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva would hear the matter on Thursday.

The PIL said that instead of constructing the water fountain at the entrance of the Tis Hazari courts, the government and Central Public Works Department should provide basic facilities to the disabled litigants.

Tis Hazari courts was being beautified by construction of a huge water fountain at the entrance for which the government was spending between Rs.50 lakh to Rs.1 crore, the plea alleged.

It said the CPWD had passed a tender for the fountain’s construction, which was going on at a fast pace.

The plea said there were six district courts across Delhi which received more than 5,000 litigants each. None of these district courts provided basic facilities to the litigants, who were disabled or otherwise, lawyers, and even the disabled accused, it said.

“Patiala House court in the heart of the city does not have any disabled-friendly toilets. There is no lift or ramp leading to the courtrooms located on the first floor,” the plea said.

Though Tis Hazari and Karkardomma courts have lifts and disabled-friendly toilets, they cannot be used as the lifts don’t work most of the time and toilets are permanently filthy,” the PIL said.

The new complexes are better designed with court complexes in Saket, Rohini and Dwarka having lifts and toilets for the disabled but these were ordinary and the toilets were always locked, it added.

The plea talked of scarcity of water (including drinking water and that used in toilets) in all district courts, especially Tis Hazari and Karkardooma courts.

“It is highly shameful and sad that the lower courts are inaccessible to the disabled. It is the duty of the court administration to provide special facilities to the disabled people who come to courts for different matters,” the plea added.

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