In Indian courts, ‘She’ toilets are either missing, unoperational or locked

Calcutta High Court wears a deserted look as lawyers go on a strike after a scuffle broke out between the employees of Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) and lawyers of Howrah District Court, in Kolkata on April 25, 2019. IANS

  • As many as 100 district courts in India lack ‘She’ toilets.
  • And merely 40% washrooms are entirely operational across 555 district courts.
  • The court complexes are short of security systems as well. Only 11% of the courts have a baggage scanning facility.
  • The Indian government has spent nearly ₹70 million to refine court complexes.
As many as 100 district courts in India lack ‘She’ toilets. And those who have toilets aren’t doing much better either. Across 555 other district courts, merely 40% of the washrooms are operational, shows a survey conducted by legal think-tank reforms Vidhi.

The states of Goa, Mizoram, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh have the least number of operational washrooms. This is despite the government’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ which spent nearly ₹70 million to refine court complexes.

Locked Bathrooms

Last month, Indian Express reported on the unavailability of washrooms for women advocates. The report titled ‘Women advocates get a raw deal’ revealed that the staff toilets were locked mostly and women needed permission to use them.

In fact, most of the district courts also lack vital facilities including bank branch, canteen and post office. Only half of the district court complexes have waiting areas. “Despite being a basic requirement, only 54% or 361 district court complexes had designated waiting areas,” TOI reported citing the findings from the survey.

In addition to this, the court complexes are short of security systems as well. Merely 11% of the courts have a baggage scanning facility in place while a third of them have no fire extinguishers. And, half of them do not have emergency exit signs.

The survey paints a grim picture of the condition of Indian district courts. According to LiveLaw, the Rajasthan High Court has directed to improve the condition of courts to ensure basic hygiene and cleanliness.

The survey included 6,650 respondents from the total 655 district court complexes across the country.

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