HC raps state over delay in allotting land for new complex in Bandra | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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HC raps state over delay in allotting land for new complex in Bandra

Mar 29, 2024 10:27 AM IST

Bombay High Court criticizes state government's delay in filing progress affidavit for new high court building in Bandra, warns of drastic action.

MUMBAI: In a stern rebuke to the state government’s sluggishness in filing an affidavit detailing the progress on the allotment of a new high court building in Bandra, the Bombay high court has expressed dissatisfaction, stating they ‘were required to five a simple affidavit.’

Last week, the Bombay high court refused to restrain the Centre from notifying the setting up of FCU until a third judge renders his opinion on whether the fact check amendment is unconstitutional. (HT FILE)
Last week, the Bombay high court refused to restrain the Centre from notifying the setting up of FCU until a third judge renders his opinion on whether the fact check amendment is unconstitutional. (HT FILE)

A division bench of chief justice Devendra Upadhyaya and justice Arif Doctor cautioned the state against compelling the court to resort to drastic measures regarding the allotment.

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“We are requesting and requesting! Don’t compel us to pass drastic orders. You are in contempt. Where is the affidavit? You had to file details of only the steps taken. Why didn’t you file? Who is briefing you? Somebody from the state secretary?” the court remarked.

The bench criticised the government’s lack of seriousness and highlighted the hurdles they face in arranging even a basic oath-taking ceremony due to space constraints.

“Is this a matter that is to be taken so lightly? Why cannot the government understand the constraints the high court faces daily? Why can’t you understand such simple things?” the bench said.

The contempt petition, initiated by Advocate Ahmad Abdi, followed the high court’s directive to the state for land allocation for the new building. Abdi, who had filed a PIL in 2012 prioritising the new building, asserted that the state’s inaction amounted to contempt of court.

In prior hearings, the court had expressed dismay over the delay in land allotment, highlighting risks to the high court officers’ lives.

During the recent hearing, Abdi pressed the government’s contempt and urged the court to summon the chief secretary. Government Pleader Abhay Patki sought a four-week extension to file an affidavit, prompting the court’s reproach.

“From where do you have to dig out this information? Some archives? Is it such information that will take 4 weeks? You are required to file a simple affidavit to state what has been done. For a change of record, this is done. For vacation, this has been done. It is all just required to be stated on an affidavit,” the court asserted.

Following the exchange, Patki agreed to submit the affidavit within 15 days, a concession granted by the bench.

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