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Government law officers troubled with space crunch inside High Court campus
Several law officers serving the city civil court located inside the Madras High Court campus are in a state of discomfort, thanks to the adjacent dingy, cramped offices allotted to them by the administrators.
The law officers are reeling under a severe space crunch since September 2021 and a visit by DT Next revealed that these offices cannot accommodate more than two persons at a time. Left with poor ventilation facilities, practising social distance or engaging a government officer is a luxury for these learned counsels, who defend the government on civil matters.
According to a senior law officer who appears for the government in the city civil courts, the office allotted to him is in a dilapidated state, dingy without ventilation.
“As we are representing for the government, various officers including IAS and IPS visit our offices. But we could not accommodate them inside our office because of the space crisis. The space crunch often forces us to meet outside to discuss the cases and legal proceedings,” the senior law officer told DT Next wishing not to be named.
Another young officer questioned the stability of the building and pointed out that the cracks in the ceiling were often posing threat to inmates.
“If a government building collapses or is found endangering public lives, we defend the state before the court and also take up the solutions given by the court, but the irony is that there is no respite for us. We could not reveal or disclose this apathy in public,” rued another government law officer. The heavy downpour also inundates HC campus, making the working conditions difficult,” he noted.
“There is a space available near the police booth of the Madras HC. We request the HC to initiate works to construct a dedicated chamber for all the government law officers who are working inside the courts in the Madras HC campus,” a law officer said on condition of anonymity. The working condition for the legal fraternity practising in lower courts is even worse. These offices also lack space to house law books and case files and this means there is no decent space to dine or engage a friend for coffee. Most of us prefer to eat out due to lack of space, the law officer rued.
When asked about the funds for new buildings or renovating the existing structure, an official source said that the government has to allot more funds for the Madras HC. "The Madras HC shall subsequently sanction funds for constructing new buildings for existing law officers,” the source said.
It may be noted that offices for Public Prosecutor for Chennai city, five additional Public Prosecutors and other government department law officers have their offices inside the High Court campus.
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