The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) to vacate and handover in three months possession of its office to the Delhi government for the purpose of redeveloping the Tis Hazari Court Complex.
The court said it does not find merit in the submission of the JKSRTC counsel on development of infrastructure and creation of other district court complexes.
“Mere putting of infrastructure does not eliminate the need for greater number of court rooms and the cadre strength (of judges)…,” a bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva said and dismissed the petition.
The bench said that as on date, the high court has not been able to fill the strength of judges in the district courts in Delhi and there were inadequate number of courts.
The corporation had challenged an order of the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court asking it to vacate the premises, citing a Supreme Court’s 1997 order.
The apex court had ordered the corporation to secure an alternative accomodation and asked it to handover the physical possession of the plot adjacent to the Tis Hazari Court in central Delhi.
Advocate Sumeet Verma, appearing for JKSTC, submitted that it was in possession of the property for 50 years and pilgrims travelling Vaishno Devi and Amarnath Shrines book their tickets from here. It also needed space to park its buses.
The counsel said they also faced security issues and the JKSTC was ready to vacate the premises if an alternative place was provided.
Advocate Viraj Datar, representing the high court’s administration, said the premises was required for the purpose of redevelopment of Tis Hazari Court complex. There were 135 rooms which have to be increased to 300 and the plot area was earmarked for mediation centre, he said.
The corporation’s counsel contended that infrastructure of the court rooms have been greatly augmented with the creation of other district courts and hence the JKSTC should be allowed to continue with the possession of this plot till an alternative place is alloted.
The bench, however, said “the court requires the corporation to handover the possession of the plot and comply with the apex court’s 20-year-old order.”
The court allowed the counsel’s plea seeking three months to vacate the premises subject to an unconditional undertaking from the corporation that it will handover the possession of the property in three months.
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