Feb 18: Curtains will come down on the centenary celebrations of Patna High Court on March 12 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to close the year-long programme at a function where a grand laser show and a documentary film will relive its glorious journey.
“We were constantly in touch with the PMO and finally they have agreed, and so the centenary celebrations of our court will be closed by honourable Prime Minister. We have planned a grand event, which would be graced by the Chief Justice of India as well,” Registrar General of Patna High Court Vinod Kumar Sinha said.
“We wanted to hold it in the first week of March, but we are glad that the prime minister has consented to close the function on March 12. Our closing celebrations would be held for two days. On March 11, we will hold some culture programmes and a dinner would be hosted for the guests.
“We have planned a laser show lasting about 20 minutes that will tell the story of the Patna High Court on a grand visual scale. Also, a 20-minute long documentary film encapsulating the journey of our court, with the aid of old pictures and archival material will be screened,” Sinha said.
President Pranab Mukherjee on April 18 last year had opened the centenary celebrations on the court’s famed front lawns, in the centre of which ornamental marble tablets were installed to mark the landmark occasion. The court’s building, an architectural icon, was also beautifully illuminated and a souvenir was released.
Built in a neo-classical style based on a Palladian design, the grand building of the court, inspired from the new building of the Allahabad High Court, was formally inaugurated on February 3, 1916 by Viceroy Lord Charles Hardinge, who had also laid the foundation stone of this august institution on December 1, 1913.
Soon after the building’s opening, a Letters Patent was issued by King George V on February 9, 1916 constituting the High Court of Judicature at Patna. The formal session of the high court began with its first sitting on March 1 the same year.
The first judges of the Patna High Court were Chief Justice Edward Maynard Des Champ Chamier and six other puisne judges including three Indians — Justice Saiyid Shurfuddin, Justice Basant Kumar Mallick and Justice Jwala Prasad.
As part of its centenary, the High Court building has been given a fresh paint job and corridor floors and steps attached to them, are getting topped with marble slabs after removing the old stone plates of the British era, a move that has upset a section of lawyers and heritage experts.
“There was no need to remove those stone plates from the corridor floors or the steps leading to them. They complemented the architecture of the building. The marble has cost so much of money and people are likely to slip off on it more often than not,” said an old court employee, who did not wish to be identified.