Whenever high-profile criminal cases such as the Commonwealth Games and 2G scams, the Jessica Lal case or for that matter the Vikas Yadav-Nitish Katara case are mentioned, the name ‘Patiala House Courts’ makes repeated rounds.
But how many people have pondered about the ‘Patiala’ connection with a legal building?
Situated at the junction where Tilak Marg and the Purana Qila roads meet the India Gate C-Hexagon, ‘Patiala House’ was formerly the palatial residence of the Maharaja of Patiala (in Punjab).
Part of the Central Vista, this building, built in the 1930s, has a central dome with a butterfly layout, similar to other buildings of the Lutyen’s zone. Today it houses the District Courts complex for New Delhi district.
‘Delhi The Built Heritage: A Listing’ describes it as: ‘A double-storeyed building, the central portion is emphasised with a domed pavilion on the terrace and a projecting porch.
Over the upper storey, there is a projecting chajja running the entire length of the oldbuilding.’
It has seen interesting occupants ever since the Maharaja vacated it.
“When former PM Prime Minister Indira Gandhi abolished the Privy Purses of the erstwhile royals in 1970s, this was acquired by the government. Delhi High Court was run from here earlier and from 1978, it is the district court,” said advocate Karan Singh, who also has a chamber in the court complex.
There have been no additions to the original structures but temporary chambers have been built on the sides, Singh claimed.