Bombay High Court slams state government for not providing land to National Law University

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government’s failure to allot a decent plot to set up the National Law University (NLU) in the city has once again invited the wrath of Bombay High Court. This is the second time that the HC has pulled up the government for failure to provide land to NLU, which has been forced to function from one floor in a Powai-based building.

The HC has now asked the Revenue Secretary and the Suburban Collector to remain present in the court on Tuesday. This time, the division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Nitin Jamdar were irked by the submissions of the government, which has decided to give a majorly ‘unconstructive’ land for the NLU. The government has come up with this land after handing over a major chunk of it to the Airport Authority of India (AAI).

Irked by the government’s move, the judges have summoned the State’s Revenue Secretary and also the Suburban Collector. The judges have asked both the officials to file their say on this issue, within two weeks.

Advocate Datta Mane, who highlighted this issue and dragged the government to the HC, argued that given the ‘heritage’ of the NLU, the government should have given it priority over AAI. Agreeing with Mane, the division bench observed, “The NLU could have been considered first. We are of the view that if the State continues to pursue this case in this manner, there are chances that the NLU would not come up even after 10 years.”

The NLU started three-four years ago, but is still in a fix as it has no proper infrastructure and doesn’t even have a building of its own. The NLU is compelled to run from two floors of a government-building in Powai, where it shifted recently only after spending some three years in a ‘shed’ installed in the campus of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Deonar.

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