THE Bombay High Court Thursday said it was time to move ahead and look at the requirement for next 100 years by shifting the court to a government colony near Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).
A bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice A A Sayed was hearing a PIL regarding severe space crunch at the over 140-year-old HC building. On the HC’s direction, the government agreed to allot land for a new HC complex at the Government Colony, Bandra (East), following its redevelopment.
A plea to intervene was made by advocate Rajan Jaykar, opposing shifting of the HC building. Incidentally, Jaykar, a collector, was involved in the restoration of HC courtrooms and in the opening of the HC museum.
Appearing for Jaykar, senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas argued that the conditions could be improved at the present heritage structure. “The infrastructure can be increased here,” he said.
The court said if they considered this plea every member of the bar would would approach the court with their viewpoint. The court asked the petitioners to reconsider their plea.
“We don’t want to encourage intervention by lawyers,” said the court.
“We are not looking at interim measures which will suffice only for 25 years but are looking at the needs for the next 100 years. There is a large area being provided (at Kalanagar near BKC). Time has come to rethink. Instead of making changes in a 140-year-old building, it is time to move ahead,” said Justice Oka.
The court pointed out that the petitioner was only looking at the matter from the limited perspective of heritage. “Mumbai has the largest number of lawyers. Everyone has their own perspective. Ultimately you have to take the broader view into account. Interest of litigants is paramount,” said Justice Oka, adding that their view was in isolation of what others wanted.
“The courtroom is so crowded that we have had to cut the dais,” the court pointed out.
The HC also asked if the consultant had been appointed, and was told the process was on. It has asked the petitioners to deliberate on their plea and the matter will be heard on June 30.