Kolkata: Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee may have donated as much as 600 crore to neighbourhood clubs since 2011 and doled out Rs 28 crore again to the clubs for the celebration of Durga Puja this year, she doesn't seem to be concerned about the need to improve the judicial infrastructure in the state, despite the Supreme Court's directive. 

The apex court on Thursday ordered the presence of the Bengal chief secretary, expressing "shock and surprise" over the stand taken by him and the finance secretary over providing proper proper judicial infrastructure, including court halls and residential accommodation, to judges of the subordinate courts.

Unhappy over the position taken by the chief secretary and finance secretary of Bengal, a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph expressed rapped the Mamata government on its knuckles. The court directed the chief secretary to file a new affidavit stating when the 75 court halls and 39 residential units being constructed by the Bengal government would be completed. Most of them are under construction and far from completion. 

The court asked the Bengal chief secretary to give a specific date when the under-construction projects will be completed. The apex court was furious that none of the two affidavits had filed answers to the questions raised by the court in its last hearing on November 15.

The court at that time had ordered the Bengal chief secretary and the finance secretary to file separate affidavits, suggesting when the court halls and residential units under construction for quite a while, would be completed. This lacklustre approach by the Bengal government is adding to the pile of cases pending in the lower courts. 

The apex court has now asked the chief secretary to be present on December 5, which is the next date of hearing. It also sought information on the timeline for the commencement and completion of the remaining 342 courtrooms and 591 residential units for the existing judges and those who are in the process of being appointed.