Imphal, Sept. 2: When a lawyer pleads for an adjournment in Imphal lower court, the need may be more urgent than negotiating a legal twist. Run home to answer nature’s call, for instance.
Why? Because, the Imphal lower court complex does not have a proper toilet.
Judges, lawyers, litigants and respondents to cases at the court insist that the problem is far more pressing than the pile of pending cases.
“Trust me, we feel like dying whenever we need to go to the loo,” said K. Shanti Devi, a senior woman advocate at the fast track court of Imphal East.
This “condition” came to light yesterday during an inspection by a team of Young Lawyers’ Forum, Manipur, at the complex, located in Lamphel of Imphal West.
One bathroom that was constructed years ago is covered with creepers. The only useable one is, interestingly, near the Manipur Human Rights Commission building.
“Barring the one near the Manipur Human Rights Commission building, the whole court complex could not provide a useable toilet. At one end, you could see the woman in the act,” T. Bheigyachandra Shamuphaba, general secretary of the lawyers’ forum, said.
The campus has at least 17 lower courts, including two fast track, one narcotic drugs and psychotropic drug court and two judicial magistrate courts.
“Before the court hours we could use any place. But when court proceedings begin, it is a real problem,” said Kh. Amutombi, commander of 4 India Reserve Battalion post on the complex.
Two toilets — one for men and another for ladies — in the family court building were locked after the septic tank was filled beyond capacity.
Ironically, the buildings are littered with cow dung. The sprawling complex also serves as grazing ground for cattle.
The courts also do not have sweepers.
The Young Lawyers’ Forum blamed judicial officers, the law department and the state government of neglect.
“If nothing is done, we will take whatever legal action required to improve the situation. Courts are dispensing justice. But in Manipur injustice is being done to courts,” Shamuphaba said.