Foundation stone for complex at Dwarka was laid in July 2006, but project was stalled following a controversy over setting up a mediation centre.
Following several hurdles and hiccups, Delhi will at last have an elite law school on par with other law colleges in the country, coupled with a National Mediation Centre, at Dwarka. The project will take at least three years to be operational, it is learnt.
The foundation stone of the integrated complex at Dwarka was laid by the then Chief Justice of India Y K Sabharwal on July 22, 2006, but following a controversy over the setting up of a mediation centre at Tis Hazari, the project was stalled. The project got a nod when the Delhi Judicial District’s oldest Bar Association at Tis Hazari protested CM Sheila Dikshit’s proposal of decentralisation of courts and opening of district courts at Dwarka, Saket and other districts. Earlier, the setting up of mediation centre was also opposed and agitators had vandalised the Mediation Cell at Tis Hazari. The protesters alleged that the cell was funded by the Ford Foundation and the concept would “undermine the legal system of the country” and was an attempt by corporate houses to “privatise the law system”. The agitators had also attacked the members of newly-formed Rohini Bar Association. However, a year later, matters appear to have been sorted out. “We have accorded recognition to the Rohini Bar Association and have recognised the new court complex. We always wanted the government to make sure that all new proposals ultimately help the public and are convenient to the Bar members,” said Sanjeev Nasiar of the Delhi Bar Association. “The bar associations have agreed to the mediation centre plan, provided that corporate interests do not undermine the legal system,” said Delhi Legal District officials. According to the earlier plan, the three proposed institutions — the Delhi Judicial Academy, the National Law School and the National Institute of Mediation and Conciliation — will come up on a 12.19 acre-plot with an estimated cost of Rs 108 crore. The Delhi Judicial Academy will provide training to Delhi Judicial Service and Delhi Higher Judicial Service members, while the National Law School will be on par with elite law schools at Bangalore and Pune. The integrated complex will also have residential facilities. Though all the three institutions will function independently, they would share some common facilities like comprehensive library and an auditorium. The PWD will be going ahead with the remainder of the construction at Dwarka. “The revised schedule will continue smoothly and electrical systems should shortly be installed,” said A K Malik Executive Engineer (Building Project Electrical Division) to Newsline. – Expressindia