Uttarakhand High Court Calls for Premises Relocation from Nainital

Uttarakhand High Court

The Uttarakhand High Court has urged the state government to locate a suitable venue for relocating its premises from Nainital within a month, citing the broader public interest.

A bench of Chief Justice Ritu Bahri and Justice Rakesh Kumar Thapliyal said, “In light of the larger public interest, it is imperative to relocate the High Court from Nainital.”

Appropriate Site for Relocation

The division bench instructed the Chief Secretary to identify an appropriate site for the High Court within the stipulated time frame. Additionally, it directed the Registrar General to establish an online portal to solicit suggestions from advocates and the general public on this matter. The next hearing on this issue is scheduled for June 25, 2024.

Regarding the state government’s earlier proposal to relocate the High Court to Gaulapar in Haldwani, the high court noted that the proposed land had 75 per cent forest cover, and construction in the area would result in deforestation.

Requirements for New Area

Furthermore, the high court outlined specific requirements for the type of land needed for relocation, including provisions for adequate accommodation for judges, judicial officers, staff, and courtrooms.

The chosen site should also offer ample space for amenities such as chambers, a canteen, parking, and a conference hall capable of accommodating at least 7,000 lawyers, the bench emphasized. Additionally, it should be situated near an area with excellent medical facilities and strong connectivity.

New Uttarakhand HC at Rishikesh

Last week, the Uttarakhand High Court had instructed the state to explore the option of establishing a bench at the Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited campus in Rishikesh, which is currently closed but boasts a vast campus spanning hundreds of acres, housing former IDPL employees.

The decision of the high court to relocate its premises has faced significant resistance from the bar association.

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