Mazgaon court building: 'You need inauguration for demolition also,' asks Bombay High Court

The bench was told that tenders would be floated in ten days and demolition of the old Mazgaon court building will be initiated after 28 days

The Maharashtra government received an earful from the Bombay High Court again for its lethargic approach towards building of the new Mazgaon court.

The building of Bombay High Court
The building of Bombay High Court

A bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and Shalini Phansalkar Joshi was hearing a petition filed by Mazgaon Bar association through lawyer Uday Warunjikar. 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.

Acting advocate general Rohit Deo told the court that the Government plans to build the foundation by year-end and start the demolishing the old building from August. The high court came down heavily on this.

“Do you need somebody to inaugurate the demolition work also? Why are you not starting the demolition of court building right away? We will not accept this in judiciary,” said Iustice Dharmadhikari.

Deo tried convincing the bench that a lot of permissions are required to demolish a building.

“You don’t have to stand in queue for permissions. You just have to tell them (BMC) that you are demolishing a structure,” observed Dharmadhikari.

The court was later told that PWD will float tenders and within 45 days, the demolition can be carried out. Justice Dharmadhikari taunted the State government this time.

“They (PWD) were the ones responsible for the poor construction of the old Mazgaon court building. You are again going to rely upon them? God save us all,” added justice Dharmadhikari.

Finally, the court was told that within the next ten days, bidders will be invited and within 28 days, the demolition work of the old building will be initiated.

The court ended the hearing by saying: “joh chitti ke baad aate hai use taar kehte hai, jo dhakke ke baad chalti hai use sarkaar kehte hai (the one which comes after a letter is called telegram; the one that starts working after a push is government).”

Due to the efforts put in by the High court, the government sanctioned Rs 29 crores for this year in connection to the new Mazgaon court. The total project is likely to cost around Rs 400 crores and will be ready by 2020. The new court building will have 48 rooms and will be one of the biggest courts in the city.

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