The Bombay High Court came down heavily on the state government yesterday for not releasing money for the construction of the Mazgaon Court, which has been shifted to Sewri Sessions court. The court also reprimanded the state saying, you have Rs 1,900 crore for a Shiv Smarak, why not spend it on courts?

A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed by the Mazgaon Bar Association regarding the construction of the court.

The court’s five-storey building was constructed in 1997, but by July 2013, the slabs had started collapsing. The building was declared inhabitable and 12 metropolitan courts had to be shifted to Sewri.

The team from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute that carried out the inquiry, blamed four PWD officers for inferior material, and absence of anti-corrosive material, which weakened the structure.

“The state now plans to construct a 17-storey building for the court with a budget of Rs 387 crore, but till date they have just released Rs 10 crore,” the lawyer, Uday Prakash Warunjikar, appearing for the petitioners, said in court.

The bench of Justices S G Dharmadhikari and G S Patel came out strongly against the state saying, “You have money for a Shiv Smarak, Rs 1,900 crore. Then why not spend on courts? If you don’t release the money, we will stay the Smarak.”

The Mazgaon court, when housed in its own building, could hear around 2,500 cases every day.