Bar-Commissionerate land row resurfaces
THE CONFLICT between Divisional Commissioner’s Office and Indore District Bar Association surfaced yet again when Himachal Pradesh Governor and member of Indore District Bar Association Justice V S Kokje endorsed the Bar’s stand to acquire the land occupied by Sales Tax office building situated in premises of Commissionerate.
Going a step ahead, he insisted that lawyers should make all the possible efforts to acquire the mill (Poddar Plaza) land situated at rear for expansion of court facilities. He also opposed the Government’s proposal to shift the district court to Pipaliyahana, which is 10 km away from existing site.
“Do not leave the mill land, lest it will be taken up by some mall builder. The existing location is very convenient for litigants as bus stand and railway station are close by. If you shift to new place (Pipaliyahana), you may be asked to shift again looking at Indore’s trend to commercialise every piece of prime land. File a PIL if required to save the land,” he remarked much to the reluctance of HC Judges present at the function.
He told the lawyers that he would speak to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to thwart any attempt to shift the district court if needed.
Recalling its historical significance, he added that district court building was constructed in 1905 and housed the Madhya Bharat High Court. “District court is being blamed for causing traffic jams. If you allow setting up shops everywhere, traffic blockades would be natural,” he remarked.
Responding to this long-standing demand of extending the district court facilities, MP Chief Justice A K Patnaik was more moderate. He said that he would hold parleys with District Collector Vivek Aggarwal, Public Works Department Chief Engineer S C Garg and architects on Saturday to explore possibility whether new district court building could be erected on the existing premises.
The Bar has been laying claim on the Sales Tax office land on the ground that it belongs to the court. In press statements, lawyers had been asking the Sales Tax office to move to Indore outskirts for it has no use in the City. The Sales Tax office has refused to shift stating Commissionerate handed over the land to it.
The Commissionerate, on the other hand, has said that it has documentary evidence to prove that it’s a Commissionery land. Incidentally, Divisional Commissioner Ashok Das heads the Land Sales Committee, which is dealing with Poddar Plaza (former Bhandari Mill) land.