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City’s landmark building of Bombay High Court might shift to Bandra Kurla Complex

City’s landmark building of Bombay High Court might shift from its 135-year-old heritage property in South Mumbai to the swanky business district of Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).Bombay High court

The reason behind the move is paucity of space at the current location. “Increasing number of cases, growing crowd and inadequate space to accommodate all the benches are the major reasons behind the shifting of the HC,” said an advocate.

The HC registry on Thursday will deliberate on the specification of the area required for relocation the HC. The plan to shift HC from its current heritage structure in South Mumbai to a bigger area in BKC has been on the anvil for sometime now.

The matter is now listed for hearing on October 8, wherein the HC along with the registry will deliberate and then a collective decision will be taken by the bar and the bench. The decision would then be forwarded to the state government in the form of an order to allocate the required space.

The historic structure whose construction was initiated in the year 1871, was completed in the year 1878. The first hearing, which the HC was heard on January 10, 1879. The main building is 562 foot long and 187 foot wide.

The structure which completed its 150 years in the year 2012, has a pending list of 3.76 cases from January 2010 to June 2015. There are almost 8.19 lakh new cases within the same tenure of five years.

dna on September 10 had reported about the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Ahmed Abdi seeking directions to the government to allot a plot of land in BKC. The PIL had prayed for the appointment of a high-powered committee to decide on a suitable location at the earliest. The over 150-year-old Bombay High Court 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 in 2007. It is soon set to reach a figure of 94.

A division bench of justices Abhay Oka and V L Achilya which was hearing the PIL had made observation, seeking directions from the government to allot a plot of land in suburbs like BKC or Kalina as the present high court building space is insufficient.

However, advocates association have been rooting for an alternative location for a new building in South Mumbai. Quite a few lawyers and law firms have their offices in South Mumbai and a location around the area would be convenient for them.

“The Idea is to keep everything centralized. If sufficient land is allotted, there is a possibility to build a special chamber for the lawyers,” said advocate Ashish Mehta.

Currently, the three-storey building of Bombay High Court has 62 court rooms, including judges’ chambers. In this very court, freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak was convicted for sedition.

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