HC asks State to explore Goregaon land for new HC complex | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

HC asks State to explore Goregaon land for new HC complex

BySahyaja MS
Apr 13, 2024 09:24 AM IST

Bombay HC directs state to explore Goregaon land for new HC complex due to delays in Bandra land transfer. Accessibility from coastal road to be considered.

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Maharashtra government to explore the possibility of utilising the land in suburban Goregaon and provide a rough sketch of its accessibility from the proposed coastal road. This directive came amidst frustration over delays in the transfer of currently allotted land in Bandra for the pivotal project.

Bombay HC comes down hard on NGO for PILs on same issue
Bombay HC comes down hard on NGO for PILs on same issue

The bench, comprising Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor, was hearing a contempt petition filed by lawyer Ahmed Abdi, raising concerns about the non-compliance of a 2018 High Court order concerning land allocation for a new high court complex in the city.

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During the last hearing on March 28, the High Court reiterated that the challenges, faced by the administration, stemmed from the lack of space at the current heritage building of the principal seat of the High Court in the Fort area of South Mumbai and asked the government to file an affidavit detailing the steps taken to vacate the earmarked land.

On Friday, Advocate General Birendra Saraf, representing the state government, provided insights into the Bandra land transfer timeline and affirmed plans to designate it as a “public project of vital importance” after the general elections.

Saraf elaborated on the government’s comprehensive redevelopment scheme for the 89.75-acre Bandra site, aided by the Economic Development Co-operation Fund (EDCH) from South Korea. As per an affidavit filed by the state government, the total area of the proposed High Court complex would be around 30.16 acres, with a portion of 13.73 acres expected to be available for possession by March 2025 and the rest by March 2026.

Expressing discontent over the slow pace of vacating the Bandra plot, the Court revisited the earlier-rejected option of Goregaon land, recognizing its potential viability, especially given the proposed Coastal Road. Chief Justice Upadhyaya underscored the urgency, stating, “Not even a single displacement has taken place. By this, we will have a new HC building in 2030.”

During the proceedings, Saraf recounted the previous rejection of the Goregaon option due to accessibility concerns. After the Chief Justice noted that the Chhattisgarh High Court had allocated nearly 100 acres of land for its complex, Advocate General Saraf elaborated that an even larger parcel in Goregaon had been offered by the government. However, the High Court declined it due to accessibility concerns. Saraf mentioned that a portion of this land was later assigned for the Maharashtra National Law University (MNLU) construction.

He further stated that once the Code of Conduct for general elections concludes the government intends to designate the Bandra land as an area of public importance to expedite the construction process. The court, while allowing such designation, urged a re-evaluation, “It can be a better idea. It is just a loud thinking on my part.” The court will now deliberate on the matter in June.

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