Pune Cantonment Court Temporarily Relocated Due to Structural Issues

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Camp, 11th June 2024: The Pune Cantonment Court, which had been operating from its MG Road premises since the British era, has been temporarily relocated to the Mahatma Phule Sanskritik Bhavan in Wanawadi.

This move was necessitated by the insufficient space and deteriorating condition of the old building, according to the Lawyers Association. The court, currently managing around 30,000 cases, has made this shift on a provisional basis, as confirmed by practicing lawyers.

There has been a long-standing demand for adequate space for the cantonment court, as the MG Road premises had become increasingly untenable due to the aging and dilapidated structure. The court services areas including Hadapsar, Cantonment, Kondhwa, Wanawadi, and Mundhwa police stations.

Former Pune Bar Association President Advocate K.T. Aru highlighted the need for additional facilities at the new location: “Currently, only three courts are operational at Wanawadi. Given that the court handles cases from five police stations, two more courts need to be made functional to reduce the backlog. We are advocating for robust infrastructure and are actively following up with the law and judiciary department, law ministry, Bombay High Court, and district court.”

In February, the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) recommended permanently shifting the cantonment court to Empress Garden, citing the unsafe condition of the current British-era building, as revealed by a structural audit conducted by the engineering department. A proposal to this effect was prepared by a committee from the PCB and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). However, this decision sparked protests from citizens and non-governmental organizations.

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PCB officials noted that rainwater seepage, restroom conditions, and insufficient parking space were significant factors necessitating the immediate relocation. Litigants, policemen, and lawyers have faced numerous challenges due to the building’s deteriorating state, which requires constant repairs.