Criminal Court ceases use of old building

Criminal Court. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

Judicial Service Commission (JSC) decided Wednesday to immediately cease the use of one of the two buildings the Criminal Court is currently being run from.

In a statement Wednesday, JSC said it had conducted an inspection of the old four-story building that houses part of the court.

JSC said the experts who conducted the inspection found the building wasn’t safe for use.

JSC said it convened for an emergency meeting Wednesday, during which it decided to immediately cease the use of the four-story building, and switch all possible operations to the extension building.

The commission also decided to make arrangements to hold online hearings, work from home, and shift duty.

The four-story building that houses the Criminal Court has deep cracks in the walls and has water damage, leaving it in severe need of renovations.

A concrete pillar at the Criminal Court partially collapsed earlier February, highlighting the safety hazard the rundown building poses.

While the building has been declared unsafe, DJA had been unsuccessful in efforts to find a new location to move the court.

Housing Development Corporation (HDC) later agreed to lease land from Hulhumale’ for a five-year period to construct a building to relocate the court. However, DJA said they were unable to afford the construction of a new building due to budgetary constraints.

The Criminal Court was originally run at the Justice Building. It was later relocated to the building next to Theemuge due to space constraints during former president Abdulla Yameen’s administration.