INDIA. Mumbai: The Maharashtra government handed over a memorandum to the Bombay High Court on Thursday, confirming the allotment of about 30.16 acres of land for a new High Court building at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in North West Mumbai.
The new building will come up at the BKC at Bandra East and will have central tribunals as well as chambers for lawyers (8.9 acres), along with the High Court building (21 acres), which will also include judges’ quarters.
Dr Birendra Saraf, who is the Advocate General of Maharashtra, said that a formal government resolution (GR) will be released soon.
The bench of Acting Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep Marne was hearing a plea filed by Advocate Ahmed Abdi, seeking contempt of court action against the Maharashtra government for non-compliance with a 2019 High Court order on the land allotment.
Saraf said that a memorandum has been signed with the Public Works Department (PWD) to that effect. The land in Bandra was earlier reserved for government employee housing by the PWD. However, PWD has now granted its consent to give up that land for building a new high court complex.
Justice Marne said, for this reason, the reservation will have to be changed in the development plan. Saraf said that the state would require some time to change the reservation to a commercial complex.
Petitioner Advocate Ahmed Abdi said that a demand for a new high court building has been pending for years, and even after an order was passed in his public interest litigation in 2019 over the same issue, the state did little, which is why he had to file a contempt petition.
The High Court had, in January 2019, directed the state government to decide on offering a large and convenient plot of land for the construction of a new complex for the High Court.
The bench, in its order, disposed of the contempt petition filed by Abdi, but his original PIL was revived and was placed for further directions on June 12.
The existing high court structure located at Fort in South Mumbai is a heritage precinct that is over 160 years old and has not been able to cope with the growing infrastructure needs of the legal fraternity.
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