HC raps Maharashtra government over lack of toilets, water coolers in courts

Irked over Maharashtra government's apathy towards providing basic facilities like toilets and water coolers in courts, the Bombay High Court on Monday directed the finance secretary to come out with a solution to utilise the sanctioned amount of Rs 5.38 crores.

The State Government had in August last year sanctioned Rs 5.38 crores for providing toilets, water coolers and benches for litigants in courts across the state. However, the amount was released to the Public Works Department only on March 2 this year.

The court was informed that if the amount is not used by March 31, it would lapse. A division bench of justices A S Oka and A P Bhangale was hearing a PIL filed by Litigants Association of Maharashtra claiming that in several courts basic facilities like toilets and water are not available.

"The amount has been sanctioned so late and in a manner that it cannot be utilised. How can contractors be appointed at such short notice? This makes the government look bad. We do not want a situation where we pass orders for the amount to be utilised and tomorrow the Finance Department raises objection saying the amount has lapsed," Justice Oka said.

The court directed the finance secretary to come out with a solution by which the amount can be utilised. The matter has been posted for hearing on Tuesday.

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