The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the state government to expedite their proposal for a 50-acre open plot at Bandra Kurla Complex that will house the HC and associated infrastructure, and said that it will meet the judicial requirements “for the next 100 years”.
“The proposal has been forwarded to the government and we are sure that they will ensure that land is allotted for construction at BKC as expeditiously as possible,” the HC said, directing the state to take a decision by December 11.
The direction was given during the hearing of a PIL filed by advocate Ahmed Abdi seeking directions to the government to have a new HC building due to paucity of space in the present Grade I heritage structure in Fort area.
The bar association also said that space is required for setting up advocate chambers. The court said that in accordance of the existing policy, advocates’ chambers could not be set up in the premises of the court, and the bar association should forward its demand to the state government, which should consider the matter.
Stating that the present setup cannot continue to cater to the needs of litigants, lawyers and judges, the court referred to a letter written by the prothonotary and Senior Master, High Court, where he has requested land for the court complex premises at BKC.
“Keeping in view land requirement for the new court building, accommodation for judges, High Court Judges’ Library, auditorium, guest house for judges and dignitaries, museum, offices for the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa Bar Associations, dispensary and residential accommodation for HC officers and staff, recreational facilities for them, and separate parking complex for the next 100 years, it is necessary to have 25 acres for the new court complex of Bombay HC and 25 acres for other requirements,” it states.
The over 150-year-old Bombay HC in Fort was constructed essentially to meet the requirements of 15 judges.
However, over the last 135 years, the strength of judges has increased to 75, and is soon set to reach 94.
Office premises were converted into court rooms to meet the increasing requirement.
The building is a historic structure, whose construction was initiated in 1871, and completed in 1878. The main building is 562-feet long and 187-feet wide.