A delegation led by chief justice Mohit Shah recently inspected two plots at Bandra-Kurla Complex and at the Kalina campus of Mumbai University before a formal proposal from the state government is received.
President of Advocate Association of Western India, advocate Rajeev Chavan, who was part of the delegation, said: “After our visit, the chief secretary and the Public Works Department met the chief justice to apprise him of the developments, before a proposal is made to the high court administration. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has also assured me that the government is willing to allot land and funds for the construction of the new building.”
Presently, the high court building is housed on a five-acre plot. But with the increase in number of litigation and daily footfall of advocates and litigants the facilities available for them is very scarce. Even for record storage and new chambers for judges, there is hardly any space.
Registrar general of the high court Mangesh Patil said, “The delegation visited the two places because the chief justice felt that inspection of the plots should be done before a formal proposal comes from the government.
However, the high court administration has not yet received any proposal from the government.”
Earlier, the high court has suggested to the state to allot a plot either in Bandra-Kurla Complex or Wadala or a part of the vacant land allotted to the Mumbai University in Kalina.
The court, while hearing a petition seeking moving of the high court building to BKC, noted: “There cannot be any dispute about the high court requiring a bigger place for functioning. Making space available at the Central Telegraph Office and the MTNL building in Fort is a temporary solutions.”
Earlier, the HC had asked for a plot in BKC but the state had offered one in Wadala, which, after a joint inspection, has been found to be not fit for setting up a high court.
The high court building was constructed in 1878, essentially to meet the requirements of 15 judges. However, over the last 135 years, the strength of judges has increased from 60 to 75 in 2007 and it is set to reach 94 soon.