Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has decided to transfer eight courts to the newly constructed building at Mazgaon where 21 courts are reserved for civil and session courts. The Bar Association has been objecting to the transfer and observed two two-day hunger strike to protest against the transfer of a few of the courts and cases from the main centre to the newly constructed Mazgaon building. Amidst the unrest, The Free Press journal spoke to Ravi Jadhav, President, Bar Association of City Civil and Sessions Court:
Q : Why is the association objecting to the transfer of courts to the new building?
A : We are opposing because, one, there is already one branch at Dindoshi. It is very difficult for advocates to attend matters in both the branches. Either you have to attend here or at Dindoshi. With Mazgaon center it would complicate things further. Mazgaon center is very inconvenient, specifically because of traffic congestion. Besides, the decision is taken without taking the association in confidence. There was no official communication or intimation from the court administration till Thursday to the Bar about the transfer of courts, which is scheduled before 2nd January.
Q: What were your demands?
A: At this stage we want the authorities to immediately stop the transfer and initiate dialogues with us. The decision is taken without considering issues raised by the bar and also without intimating us. It was only when we noticed that some of the courts had started packing we came to know through staff that they were preparing for the transfer of cases to the Mazgaon court. We want dialogues. As we came to know about the shifting, as President, I wrote the office of Principal judge to clarify and halt the process.
Q: What is the future course of action?
A : We have got an intimation from the office that our objections and concerns have been raised before the appropriate authorities. If timely decision is not taken we would continue our action again from January 2 and if needed we will approach Law minister as well to resolve the issue.
Q: What are your suggestions?
A: We objected to the transfer of any of the court from City Civil and Sessions court, in fact we suggested that the building should house all the magistrate court. In Mumbai, Magistrate courts are situated at different centers and many are in dilapidated conditions. So, instead of shifting sessions court, they should make arrangements to have all the magistrate courts in the same building. Also, the government can transfer tribunals in this courts. The government is paying lakhs of rupees for rent to house these tribunals and all, they can transfer these tribunals also at this center.