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Ayodhya Development Plan seems to have ‘no plans’ for its Courts

Summary – In this blog, Ritima Singh gives us a virtual tour of the Ayodhya District Court, which has been neglected amid city-wide development.

Key takeaways

  1. Despite Ayodhya’s infrastructural evolution, the district court struggles to provide even basic facilities, like washrooms.

  2. Inadequate facilities and reluctance to digitisation hinder the overall efficiency of the court.

  3. A call out to improve the infrastructure and digitisation efforts for the proper functioning of the court.


In a world where reality often outstrips fiction, an OTT series recently took its viewers by storm with its uproarious depiction of the workings of district courts in India. But what if I were to tell you that this series might not be as far-fetched as it seems? Welcome to the twisted yet oddly familiar plot of Ayodhya District Court, where the wheels of justice seem to be turning, ever so slowly, on rusty hinges. This blog post is a brief insight on infrastructure and functioning of the Ayodhya District Court from my recent visit there in March’24. 


The land of Ayodhya for ages has been believed and worshipped as land where Lord Ram was born. After the judgment by the apex court of the country in affirmation to the believe, Ayodhya has become an epicentre of developmental activities. The byproduct of this development is that Ayodhya attracts devotees from across the globe. The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Aditya Nath, highlighted the same and stated that since the day of the inauguration of the Ram temple, i.e. since 24th of Januray’24 till 14th March’24 some 1 crore people have visited the city.

In the lead-up to and after the inauguration of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya, the city has already undergone a monumental facelift. It now boasts an international airport, sleek roads (almost), five-star hotels and the aroma of freshly baked goods wafts through the air. Yet, amidst this glittering transformation, the Ayodhya District Court languishes in neglect, like the forgotten protagonist of a tale that shook the nation including its political regime, judiciary and executive.

II. Challenges in brief

In the grand scheme of the “Ayodhya Master Plan 2031,” a meticulous 200-page opus detailing the city’s makeover, judicial infrastructure seems conspicuously absent. The seat of dispute resolution for the city does not seem to be a priority. 

It is important for the development authorities responsible behind crafting development plans for a city to not neglect judicial infrastructure as it holds pivotal importance in urban development plans due to its multifaceted contributions inter alia establishing the foundation for the rule of law, instilling stability essential for businesses, residents, and investors alike. In addition to providing mechanisms for dispute resolution, it fosters social cohesion and trust within the community by cultivating legal certainty that is quintessential for economic development and governance.

The judicial process in Ayodhya till date takes place in an old yet beautiful building. However, the building lacks infrastructure and tools such as cameras, functional washrooms, ramps, digital library etc. However, it would be unjust to state that there stands absolutely no development in terms of Court infrastructure.  “8 Manzila Building,” the proposed new home for the Ayodhya District Court, as seen in pictures looks like a modern-day eight-floor building. But it lacks some basic amenities that would aid in its functioning. The court rooms shifted to this new building but due to lack of lifts and functional washrooms, operations have moved back to the old building. 

As for advocates, traditional seating arrangements prevail, with advocates perched on wooden stools, clutching their trusty iron boxes. While there are chambers in place for the advocates, most of them still prefer to sit under the shade on wooden stools to meet clients. 

But it’s not just the physical surroundings that give pause for thought. Digitization, that herald of progress, has yet to make significant inroads into courtroom proceedings here. While soft copies of orders take a while to be uploaded on the website, the cause lists are uploaded mostly 5-6 days in advance. As far as e-filing or other digital tools are concerned, internalization of the same may take more time even though training on e-courts of the staff has been conducted. The advocates and the court officers appeared to be very much comfortable with paper-based processes and physical files. 

Having visited the district court for over a week, I regrettably cannot regale you with tales from the courtrooms. For over a week the courts either due to strikes or three-day long condolence were not in operation. In addition, I found myself witness to a delicate dance of power between advocates and the bench. From impromptu Holi breaks to mourning periods masquerading as court holidays, the wheels of justice seemed to turn very slowly and at the convenience of a select few.

Yet, amidst the chaos, there’s a strange harmony. The bar and the bench share an oddly cordial relationship, with advocates taking charge of order sheets and walk-in hearings being the norm. The advocates often prepare Order sheets in advance to assist the court and hearings are often re-scheduled and taken up during the day based on the availability of lawyers.

III. Conclusion

District courts play a very crucial role in the judiciary by serving as the first point of contact for citizens seeking justice. These courts are always full of litigants and advocates for a wide array of cases. It is therefore crucial that due attention is given to introduction and internalization of digitalization such as e-filing, real time reflection of case status, uploading of orders etc. For the implementation of the same it is essential that the staff, judges and advocates actively participate in implementing digital workflows for court processes. This can be done by sensitisation, advocacy and capacity building to enhance efficiency, reduce manual paperwork and streamline processes. 

Another crucial aspect in enhancing the output of district courts is curbing unwarranted strikes. This would ensure that the advocates and parties appear as and when asked to and there is regular progress in cases. Better and functional infrastructure such as lifts, washrooms, specially abled people friendly infrastructure is an important key to further contribute to access to justice, ultimately fostering trust and accessibility between citizens and judiciary.  

Amidst all the fanfare and enthusiasm in transforming Ayodhya, let courts and court complexes not remain lagging behind. So, the next time you find yourself binge-watching some courtroom drama just remember: truth, as they say, is often stranger than fiction.

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