By Sumit Saxena
New Delhi– Come this July, the Supreme Court is likely to get decongested enabling lawyers and litigants to have easy access to the courtrooms.
Chief Justice S.A. Bobde has frequently expressed concern over noisy courtroom due to lack of crowd management in the Supreme Court, especially during the hearing of nearly 150 petitions challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Taking this issue head-on, the administration has sought expertise of premiere institutes like IIT/IIM, to conduct a detailed study emphasizing on using latest technological solutions to decongest and make optimum utilization of available space.
“The Supreme Court of India intends to retain the services of a reputed Institution like IIT/IIM, School of Architecture & Planning, Regional Engineering Colleges etc. for undertaking study and suggesting measures for Crowd Management and Circulation in areas inside Supreme Court,” said the notice inviting expression of interest (EoI).
The decongestion plan will focus on the courts and its surroundings particularly in High Security Zone, with the aim to have smooth conduct of business of courts by way of redesigning spaces and managing the crowd movement, including by redesigning and renovating areas accessed by visitors in the premises.
During the hearing of many crucial cases involving a large number of petitioners, the courtroom are often full to their brim with lawyers and litigants, leaving hardly any bit of space to stand comfortably.
According to a court sources, initially an idea was propped up to begin proceeding in courtrooms at a gap of 15-20 minutes. “For example, if court 1 is functioning then court 2 or 3 will begin after a gap of 15 minutes allowing the lawyers to comfortably reach the courtroom. Crowded gallery on the court complex was also another issue,” added the source.
The experts will be given five days to interact with a range of stakeholders — Registry, Supreme Court Bar Association, Supreme Court security / Intelligence Bureau / Delhi Police, media and general public — to frame a proposal for presentation before committee.
The authorities have emphasized that the main building of Supreme Court is a heritage building and its facade cannot be changed, while devising crowd management, and there will be limitations in carrying out major renovation works.
“The crowding is mainly in high security zone of the building and major renovation works can only be done during Court holidays from 17 May to 5 July 2020,” said the notification.
The EoI emphasizes on using the latest technological solutions to decongest and make optimum utilization of available space to manage crowd on the premises.
“Redesigning and remodeling of the available space of court rooms to ensure more seating space and better circulation, inside the courts,” said another source in the administration.
The scope of work includes devising a solution for crowd management and efficient utilization of space after studying the existing layout, availability of space and pattern of crowd. And, to suggest revised layout of existing facilities and circulatory plan.
The selected institute can deploy maximum of four consultants — well versed in the area of design, architect, security, Information Technology, civil engineering and crowd management — to conduct the study in at least 30 days. (IANS)