Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Bombay high court museum in the presence of chief minister Devendra Fadanvis and chief justice of the high court Mohit Shah.
A court room on the ground floor of the high court building has been converted into a museum, showcasing historical documents and antiques from the time of the inception of the courts in Mumbai.
Addressing the Advocates of Western India, the prime minister recalled his visit to the Bombay high court and said he was honoured to be briefed about the rich legal heritage of the institution. “We Indians by nature are not very history conscious. Museums are great way to connect the new generation with our past heritage,” he said.
Though the first British Court of Justice was inaugurated in Mumbai in 1672, it was the Charter of 1726, which introduced a uniformity of approach and established similar judicial institutions. The Mayor’s Court, was the first such court to be established in Mumbai under the Charter of 1726, which functioned between 1726 and 1798, followed by the Recorder’s Court, which was presided over by the mayor, three aldermen and a recorder, who was assisted by a Hindu Pandit learned in the Law of the Shastras and a Muslim Maulvi.
Later, even the Recorder’s court was abolished and it was replaced by the Supreme Court at Bombay, which functioned between 1824 and 1862, when finally Bombay high court came into existence.
A prominent portion of the museum is dedicated to the documents that sketch the history of the high court right from its inception. Some of the documents include handwritten applications with the signature of Bal Gangadhar Tilak when he was tried here.