Over-crowding in 2G courtroom; Judges inspect, mull revamp

Senior judges of the Patiala House District court inspected the courtroom and discussed modalities to use existing space in a more efficient manner so that the high-profile accused, their relatives, lawyers, media persons and curious on-lookers do not face difficulty during judicial proceedings.

The judges, Talwant Singh and Sanjiv Jain, however, did not agree with the plea of Swan Telecom Promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, who is in jail along with various others including former Telecom Minister A Raja, that the scribes be kept out during the hearing.

The moment the inspecting judges came, Balwa sought installation of more air conditioners in the courtroom which already has seven ACs. Balwa said the "media should be moved out". His counsel also seconded his statements saying there is hardly any space for lawyers to stand as journalists occupy most of the space.

The judges rejected the plea of Balwa that a screen be installed outside the courtroom for the media. A separate media gallery would be set up, one of the judges said and asked the staff, who accompanied them, to ensure that two gates are there.

Through one gate, only lawyers and accused would be allowed to enter and the other one could be used by the public and journalists, special CBI judge Talwant Singh said. CBI Judge Singh, who is trying CWG cases against various high-profile accused including Suresh Kalmadi, does not allow journalists to come near the dais.

He, however, directed that microphones be installed for the lawyers and the judge after taking note of the complaint of Sharad Kumar, CEO and MD of Kalaignar TV, who was arrested yesterday along with DMK MP Kanimozhi.

On the lines of the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court, arrangements would be made for senior advocates to sit while other advocates argue.

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