Museum Of High Court Of Madhya Pradesh

A museum is a “ permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves,   researches, communicates and exhibits,  for purposes of study, education, enjoyment, the tangible and intangible evidence of people and their environment”.


High Court Of Madhya Pradesh Main Seat At Jabalpur


The impressive mansion of superb architecture was constructed in 1899 by Raja Gokul Das, Grand Father of late Seth Govind Das, Former Member of Parliament.  The building was designed by Henry Irwin, C.I.E., P.W.D., sometime in 1886.  The construction work of this building commenced in 1886 and was completed in 1889 at the cost of about Rupees Three Lacs.  The building is constructed in brick-lime with ornamental towers and cornices.  The architecture of the building is mixed baroque and oriental.  The arches as well as the bastions at the corner are ornamental.

The owner was gracious enough to give the said building to the erstwhile Government for purposes of Government Offices on a nominal monthly rent of Re.1/- only.  Before formation of the new State of Madhya Pradesh the building housed the Collector's Office, Law Courts and Treasury.  Later on, it is said that the building was completely donated to the Government.  On 1st November, 1956, when the present State of Madhya Pradesh was formed, Jabalpur was chosen as the Principal Seat of the High Court.  Consequently, the said building was selected and approved by late Hon'ble Shri Justice M. Hidayatullah, first Chief Justice of new Madhya Pradesh, for the High Court.  Some additional space was provided to accommodate more court rooms but due care was taken to seen that it did not disturb the original architecture.

In this building there are 14 court rooms including the court room of Hon'ble the Chief Justice.  The State Government on the recommendation of Hon'ble the Chief Justice sanctioned extension of this building at the cost of more than Rupees three crores.  Consequently, the construction work of North and South Block has been completed and handed over to High Court.  South Block consists of big Conference Hall on the first floor having sitting capacity of three to four hundred persons as also two court rooms with chambers on the ground floor.  North Block consists of four court rooms with chambers (two on the ground floor and two on the first floor).




In 1819, Holkar dynasty was defeated by the English and under Mandsaur Treaty, the Britishers established their existence in Indore through East India Co.  The English, wherever they went, established their military, civil and health services as well as judicial system.   Implementation of proceeding to impart justice to the people having transaction with the English and residing under their jurisdiction, was initiated at all levels.    Till the end of 19th century, the portion of Indore city under jurisdiction of Britishers was known as cantonment.  In the court of Resident, British law was applicable and District Judge of Khandwa in the British India used to come to exercise jurisdiction of High Court Judge in the cases of cantonment.  In the rest of Indore under Holkar Kingdom imparting justice went on as per old pattern by the jurists and petitions were finally decided in the Court of King.  From the beginning of 20th Century administrative system of Holkar was highly influenced and the Britishers went on increasing their control over Holkar Kingdom as advisors.  From the beginning of 20th Century, officers of judiciary were being appointed according to advise of English and in Indore under the reign of Holkar,  retired High Court Judges of British India were being appointed as Chief Justice.  During this process, British law was adopted in Toto which prevailed as law made by Holkar.  In 1931, extension of legal education started at Holkar College and thereafter study of law completely started in Indore.  Prior to it, citizens of Indore had to go to pune, Bombay, Agra and Allahabad for obtaining degree of law.

In this way, justice to Indorians was given in a mized judicial system.  Cantonment area of Indore was ruled by English vide English law.  In Indore under Holkar, the law made by English was adopted as Holkar law and justice was imparted.  After 1920, Advocates of Indore were being appointed as pusne Judges to the post of High Court Judge.  Out of them Justice Jambekar, Justice Shri Rege, Justice Shri Hajarilal Sanghi were worth mentioning.

In 1947, a new State known as Madhya Bharat came into existence in which Indore and other states were included and, capital and High Court both the places remained at Indore and Gwalior.  On 26th January 1950, the Republic Day, constitutional High Court at Indore came into existence, and under the leadership of Hon'ble Justice Shri P.K. Kaul, the present system of High Court started at Indore.  Justice Shri Kaul hailed from High Court at Allahabad.  Under his guidance it was decided that High Court should work at a different place.  For it, the Government of Madhya Bharat obtained land from Maharaja Holkar for the present building on 22nd March 1955.  The President of India,  Hon'ble Dr. Rajendra Prasad laid foundation stone of this building.

In 1956, State of Madhya Pradesh came into existence.  That time, it was apprehended that the Bench of High Court at Indore might cease its existence, because Jabalpur was awarded with the High Court in lieu of capital.  The then Chief Justice Hon'ble Shri Hidayatullah tried his best to keep High Court intact and only at a place.

After Hon'ble late Justice P.K. Dixit became the Chief Justice, Bench at Indore resumed its lost dignity.  During his tenure Indore Bench was declared a Bench by the President of India instead of being a bench established by the powers vested with the Chief Justice.

In March 1959, Indore Bench was established in the present building, then the work started here with only 4 Judges.  For the first time Hon'ble Shri Justice Newaskar, Hon'ble Shri Krishnan, Hon'ble Shri S.B. Sen and Hon'ble Shri Justice Razzaque were appointed.




Prior to establishment of a permanent Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court at Gwalior by virtue of the provisions of Section 51 (2) of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, Gwalior was already a seat of High Court for a long time.  Before the State of Madhya Pradesh came into being, it was the seat of Madhya Bharat High Court and before that also the High Court was there albeit of a foreign jurisdiction under the erstwhile Ruler of Gwalior.  In 1937 the High Court was accommodated in a building known as 'Technical School' situated at Jayendraganj, Lashkar (Gwalior).  The said building was quite spacious and therefore, in the ground floor and in some part of first floor the District Court was accommodated and the High Court was accommodated in the first and second floor.  At that time, there were only two Hon'ble Judges.  The High Court remained in this building till 8th January, 1999.

For construction of a new High Court Bench building at Gwalior suitable land was selected at City Centre in the Campus of Jivaji University, Gwalior.  The foundation stone of the new building was laid on 12th February, 1994, by the then Chief Justice Hon'ble Shri U.L. Bhat.  The Government accorded administrative sanction of Rs.12.2 crores for construction of this building.  The construction work of this building was completed on 8th January, 1999.  The new High Court Bench building is a four storeyed and Centrally Air Conditioned building which consists of ten Court Room, spacious Conference Hall and sufficient accommodation for Registry staff, Bar Members, Advocate General's Office, etc.  The new High Court Bench building was inaugurated by Hon'ble the Chief Justice of India Dr. A.S. Anand on 9th January, 1999.