The Karnataka High Court on Monday declined to entertain a petition which questioned the plan to build a 7-storey building for the High Court by demolishing an old building, which is flanked by Cubbon Park in the central area of Bengaluru.
The PIL was filed by Cubbon Park Walkersâ€™ Association after an old building, which earlier housed the office of the Election Commission, was set to be demolished to make way for a new High Court building.
However, the court observed orally that â€ścourt is more concerned about environmentâ€ť and â€śprotection of environment is not a monopoly of activistsâ€ť to justify its decision to decline the petition, The Hindu reported.
The Karnataka government had granted in-principle approval to a proposal to demolish the old building and construct a new one. However, the state government is yet to take a final decision on the construction and the High Court's building committee is yet to submit a plan to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for the same, Times of India reported.
The High Court noted that over 400 staff members were working in temporary offices in the basement of the court building and stated that they were in discussions with the state government to provide space for these staff members.
The idea of demolishing the old building and constructing a new one in the same area with seven floors and two basements came up during these discussions which began in June 2019. The HC also stated that the construction should be allowed only if the government states that the building is legal and in compliance with environmental laws and rights of citizens. The HC suggested that an alternative land in the vicinity may be allotted instead.
The High Court operates out of a red brick building opposite the Vidhana Soudha and is flanked by Cubbon Park.