Egmore Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Chennai - a colonial building already renovated

 The century-old heritage building of the Egmore Metropolitan Magistrate Court  was  not in good condition and in  2017 the renovation work was undertaken  by the PWD  in consultation with  National Centre for Safety of Heritage Structures . By  March  2019  the work was over and a sum of Rs.5 crore  had been spent on the renovation work.  Upon completion of the work by the PWD, to the astonishment of  the fraternity of Chennai  lawyers, the  renovated court building had remained idle  and unoccupied for several months. It was yet  to open for the courts to function there.  The reason was not clear  and the courts were still  functioning at  Allikulam.  There was  a proposal to shift the  fast track courts and land-grabbing offence courts functioning at Allikulam to here.

Egmore metropolitan Magistrate court, Chennai

Egnore metropolitan Magistrate court,

The British under the Raj in 1916 established three   Municipal Magistrate Courts in Madras (Chennai)  in Egmore, Saidapet and George Town to meet the demand  of increasing litigation and to clear the pending legal cases.  Since then the old buildings have not seen any activities  and remained idle. These  colonial structures  the witnessed so many important court cases several decades ago are worthy of preservation.   Symmetrical arches quality woodwork and staircases, and rosewood doors and  features give  the  old Indo- European styled building  a unique look that makes  it stand apart. 

Toward the end of 2013 the  state government has sanctioned 22.21 crore for the  for the purpose of preservation and maintenance of the heritage court buildings at Egmore, George Town and Saidapet, besides Court of Small Causes in the Madras HC premises.

Damaged Egmore  Metropolitan Magistrate Court,

In June 2015, the metropolitan magistrate courts functioning in the  old building in Egmore, were shifted to the Lily Pond Shopping Complex (was constructed in 1986 on the plot where Moore market was ravaged by a fire accident in 1985) near the Central railway station. The govt. paid a monthly rent of Rs.17. 79 lakh for the courts.  Shifting  was done to begin  the  time-consuming  renovation  work of the heritage structure and  also the construction of a new court    complex in  Egmore to accommodate all courts affiliated to Egmore court.   Since 2015  the  Court  had been  functioning on    a separate premise in Allikulam market complex.  As for modern multi-storied  court complex  a sum of  Rs 26 crore was spent.

Egmore court,

But the shifting of court back to the renovated building got delayed   because  the  structure's heritage value might  be affected because of frequent access by common people.  The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court had also sought for the heritage premises to be utilized for the smooth functioning of the courts.  The onus was on the   ''Heritage Committee of the High Court."  to  make a final decision.