The 500-odd people working in the crumbling Bhoiwada court say a prayer every day when they enter the building.
Built in 1937, the structure stands neglected and is in need of urgent repairs. The cracks on the building, leaking roofs, gaping holes in place of windows and creepers and shrubs growing on the damp walls tell the sorry state of the building.
A few days ago, a portion of a court gallery collapsed. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Advocates of the Dadar Bar Association who work at Bhoiwada court fear that the structure might come crashing down any moment.
Senior advocate Chandrakant Ubhe, 44, has been practising here for the last 15 years and has seen the building’s deterioration. “Recently, we saw the court room leaking and had to postpone the hearing of cases. We then raised funds from our bar association and repaired the ceiling,” said Ubhe.
Advocate BW Kakade, 59, president of Dadar (Bhoiwada) Bar Association, has been practising in the Bhoiwada court for the last 31 years. Not a single organisation has approached the court for the building’s repair, he said.
“Since the structure was built, it has not been repaired even once. No one is interested in repairing it even when it is on the list of dilapidated buildings,” said Kakade.
Three months ago, Justice Abhay Oak and the then registrar general of Bombay high court visited the court and said that the building needs major repair.
“Funds were released by the law and judiciary department for the building’s repair work. But nothing has been done. For the last six years, the building is being maintained by the bar association of Dadar,” he added.
Advocate Gorge Ruskin, 46, said the building has been neglected for years. “For the past six years ago, we have seen severe leakage in the building, leading to its damage. We will soon be forced to open our umbrellas in the court room while arguing cases,” said Ruskin.
Early this month, the staff working in the dilapidated Mazgaon court were asked to vacate the structure. Those working in Bhoiwada court too hope to get a safe workplace.