The Bombay High Court on Friday observed that it is the elementary duty of the state to provide basic facilities like clean toilets and potable drinking water to litigants and witnesses who spend long hours in courts across the state.
A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Amjad Sayyed directed the state to come out with a comprehensive policy in coordination with the HC to ensure that a cleaner environment is available in courts.
The bench made these observations while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Litigants Association of Maharashtra. The PIL has alleged that toilets in several courts were not cleaned for days and no potable clean drinking water was available.
Agreeing with the petitioner, the HC said, "Barring a few courts, the situation is extreme in others. The state has outsourced the cleaning work to private contractors, but contracts with many of them have expired and the state has not renewed them."
The court also observed that most of the courts see a large number of footfall and litigants have to wait for a long time. There are space constraints in some courts but some system needs to be worked out for having a cleaner environment. The court has directed the state to file a detailed affidavit by April 25 and adjourned the hearing of the PIL to May 2.