Seven toilets and a small canteen cater to nearly 4,000 visitors

With congested corridors and cramped court rooms, the Madurai district courts complex presents a picture of neglect.

Visitors are welcomed by stench from the toilets and rotting garbage on the premises. There are hardly seven toilets and a small canteen to cater to nearly 4,000 people who visit the court complex every day.  

The corridors of the court building serve as ‘offices’ for many advocates owing to dearth of space at the lawyer’s chamber building which has only 100 rooms. Every chamber is shared by at least five advocates.

Expressing concern over the lack of basic amenities in the court, Madurai Bar Association secretary A.K. Ramasamy said, “Initially, the bar association office was started with a strength of 300 lawyers. But, today, there are well over 4,000 lawyers. There is no room for lawyers to work or even move around. Some of the courts must be shifted to the second floor to ease the congestion.”

If this is the case with the lawyers, things are no better for the judicial employees who blame the government for the delay in allocating funds for the construction of new court buildings on the premises. The office rooms provided to the employees are not spacious. “We are being forced to have lunch on our table, amid huge piles of legal documents,” said a senior clerk. There is no proper drinking water supply in the building, he rued.

With more courts coming up in the complex, the staff charged that the court halls and offices were being partitioned to accommodate the new ones, causing inconvenience to them.

This apart, the building does not have lift facility or even a waiting room for the differently abled and family members of the accused.

S. Veeranasamy, president, Lawyers’ Association of Madurai District, said Union Minister Sudarsana Natchiappan had allotted Rs. 25 lakh for the construction of a law research centre.

At a recent function, Madras High Court Judge V. Dhanapalan assured the lawyers that their petition seeking new chamber for lawyers and better facilities on the court premises had been forwarded to the authorities concerned.