After a delay of more than two years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will, on February 14, inaugurate the Judicial Museum on the Bombay high court premises. The museum would display antique items associated with the rich history of the 150-year-old court.
Prime minister Narendra Modi on February 14 will inaugurate the Judicial Museum on the Bombay high court premises, said an HC official. The museum has been under construction for over two years now. Work is on at a rapid pace in room no 17, following an infusion of funds from the state government. Advocate Rajan Jaykar, who is setting up the museum, said, “I have put in place a mock court in the centre of the room. It depicts how courtrooms functioned in the 19th century before electricity came to the high court. Cloth fans hung above the head of the judge and pulled by staff, candle stands on the judge’s table, old advocates’ chairs, etc will be on display.”The museum would display antique items associated with the rich history of the 150-year-old court. Visitors would see stationery items like ink pots, paper weights, candelabra, old bookcases, frames, portraits and pictures of the court building taken in old days.The museum will have theme lighting to highlight key collectors’ items that are part of the court’s history. Data provided with each item will take at least a half hour of a visitor’s time. The museum will also have on display important documents such as the barrister certificates of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr B R Ambedkar, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, judgment copies of sedition cases against Lokmanya Tilak for printing material against the British regime, and so on.A cannon dating back to 1864, the charter by which Queen Victoria established the Bombay High Court in 1862, and subsequent charters from 1879 giving more powers to the court, will also be on display.In 2012, the museum was proposed as part of the yearlong celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the high court, which was set up on June 26, 1862. Since then, the work got derailed for lack of funds.Advocate Rajiv Chavan, president of Advocate Association of Western India, said, “The museum will help in keeping alive the glorious tradition of the court. It will help the younger generation of advocates and others to know and understand the history of one of the oldest high courts in the country.”Modi will be in Mumbai on February 14 to attend the closing ceremony of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the AAWI.The Supreme Court of India has the first judicial museum in the country, built with a view to preserve, protect and display rare objects, artefacts, manuscripts, old documents, files, and photographs depicting India’s legal heritage and growth of its justice delivery system. Other than the apex court, the Madras high court, Punjab and Haryana high court and Madhya Pradesh high court, too, have museums displaying their glorious past.
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