In a step closer towards construction of the new building for the Bombay High Court spanning 30 acres at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), the Maharashtra government has asked the Registrar of the HC to depute a representative for taking advance possession of land in Bandra East.
Advocate General Birendra Saraf Informed a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice Sandeep Marne on Wednesday that a communication to this effect was issued by the State Revenue Department to the High Court on May 25, 2023.
Saraf submitted the communication sent by the Dinesh Kurhade, Tehsildar, revenue, Suburban Mumbai to the Registrar General (RG) of the HC. It requests the RG to depute a representative to take advance possession of the 30.16 acres of the land.
High Court taking possession of land from PWD
Another communication was sent by the City Surveyor to the RG stating that it is taking possession of the plot of land from the Public Works Department (PWD) and is giving advance possession to the HC. The land originally belongs to the PWD. It clarified that it is handing over the possession of the land “as it is” as it takes over from the PWD.
The HC was hearing a petition filed by Advocate Ahmed Abdi seeking contempt of court action against Maharashtra government authorities for non-compliance of a High Court order on land allotment for a new HC building.
In January 2019, the High Court had directed the government to take a decision on offering a large and convenient plot of land for the construction of the new High Court complex. At present, the land was reserved for government housing in the city development land. However, the State will require some time to change the reservation to a commercial complex. Once that is done, the state will proceed to issue the GR.
Building spread over 21 acres
The land allotted at Bandra East will house HC building spread over 21 acres. Along with that, it is also expected to have central tribunals as well as chambers for lawyers spread over 8.9 acres. A portion of the land is proposed to be commercially developed for lawyers' chambers, through which the government plans to receive revenue.
The government signed a memorandum with the PWD on March 30. Thereafter, on May 19, the Revenue Department issued an order authorizing the transfer of land for the construction of a new Court building.
The HC has kept the petition for hearing on July 9, 2023.