Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said the government had held a meeting with the Bombay High Court Chief Justice Manjula Chellur earlier and finalised a plot in the city for the construction of a new High Court building. He said it has also fixed the timeline for sanctioning the work. “Be assured that very soon Mumbai will have a new high court,” he said, in addition to the iconic building at Fort where the High Court has been located for over a century and a half.
“We have finalised a plot for the new building. A meeting was held with the Chief Justice. A presentation of the proposed HC was also made before her. She was very insistent on timelines and we have given the timeline for sanctioning of work,” said the CM.
Fadnavis was at the inauguration of the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centre and Crèche by the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, at the Central Telegraph Office opposite the High Court.
Stating that “we must believe in a culture of settlement”, the CJI said settlement is an obligation to law. He also cited examples of how both leaders, Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln, advised on settlement.
He was addressing members of the Bar and judges of the Bombay High Court. He first inaugurated the ADR centre and then the crèche that had been readied with a cradle for infants.
The CJI then proceeded to the Central Hall of the Bombay High Court, along with Chief Justice Chellur and the chief minister. “Arbitration has to be cost effective. Secondly, it must be impartial and absolute disclosure is mandatory. What is required is centrality of purpose… arbitrators and mediators must have sincerity and must not be indecisive. Moreover, they must know the law. Whoever is in-charge must incorporate such a spirit,” the CJI said.
The CJI cited examples of Gandhi and his belief in the “settlement culture” and how he convinced a client to “better settle”. Speaking about Lincoln, who was a lawyer before entering politics, he spoke about an anecdote where Lincoln advised a man, who wanted to litigate against an old woman, not to litigate. “Not to litigate… this is my advise I give you for free,” he said referring to the anecdote.
Fadnavis said: “This is the need of the day. The courts are burdened with so many cases and litigations are heavy. that we need to find alternate…. system by which we can give speedy solution.”
Pointing out how the state government, while framing the litigation policy of 2014, had emphasised on ADR, he said: “The single party that faces maximum litigation is the government. If the government resorts to alternate…. dispute resolution the court will not be heavily burdened.”
He pointed out how such arbitration would especially help the poor as the “common man suffers the most”. Fadnavis added: “A lot of girls and boys pass out of law schools. But we see less number of lady lawyers becoming senior lawyers. As they have to pursue a profession and also have a family. I believe that the workplace has to be gender neutral… and more maturity is required at the work place.”
Chief Justice Manjula Chellur said: “Owing to deficiency of space, I requested the CM to give space at the CTO building. Unless the area is close to the HC, the purpose will not be achieved, especially in a city like Mumbai where it takes a lot of time to commute.”