BENGALURU: Expressing concern at the proposal to demolish the heritage Election Commission office to make way for a seven-storey building, Justice MF Saldanha, former Bombay High Court judge, has asked Karnataka High Court judges to survey the High Court premises to ascertain how much vacant and under-utilised spaces are available.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Justice Saldanha said according to information gathered and those shared by the Fire and Emergency Department, one-third of space in each High Court building is filled with junk like files and scrap furniture, and even locked rooms. "So if all this is dealt with and space cleared, there will be no need to demolish heritage buildings for the construction of an annexe building," he added.
However, the court has now taken note of the case and is reviewing it. The old High Court building has two floors. Its new mirror building is the same. Justice Saldanha said, "If the rooms are well surveyed, there will be no need to find any new place. Also the files lying around are now obsolete. Digitising all documents and going paperless is the way forward. Also, after setting up two more benches in Dharwad and Kalaburagi, around two-third work of this High Court has shrunk. However, if there is still a need for space, then the KGID and the old Election Commission office buildings should be cleaned, and with some renovation, they can be well utilised. A classic example of this is the Nyaya Nivas in Mysuru and the Karnataka Judicial Academy building in Bengaluru. These were two heritage buildings which have now been put to good use."
He said he will speak to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and High Court judges on the issue at the earliest. He added that it was required as no construction should take place in Cubbon Park.