CHANDIGARH (TIP): The Punjab Government has refused to concede to the demand of the Punjab and Haryana High Court for the construction of an “exclusive five-star guest house” for judges in Amritsar. The government has instead offered to reserve a separate floor in the proposed multi-storey guest house for judges. A committee of High Court judges had asked the state government to construct an exclusive guest house for them on a piece of land near Kachehri chowk in Amritsar, where the old sessions court stood. The old sessions court building is now being demolished as the new judicial complex has become functional.
The guest house was required since the city was frequented by judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court as well as other High Courts to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, the committee had said. An exclusive guest house would have ensured minimum inconvenience to the judges in case other government guest houses, such as the Circuit House, were fully occupied, it had contended. But the land on which the old building of the sessions court stood is now worth hundreds of crores of rupees. The state government proposes to set up a multi-storey guest house there in public-private partnership to be managed by a hotel chain.
The government proposes to build this facility for all visiting dignitaries and not exclusively for any particular section of VIPs. “We have now informed the High Court that instead of constructing an exclusive guest house for judges, a set of 10-12 rooms in the proposed multi-storey complex will be reserved exclusively for judges,” said a senior official in the Punjab government. The government has also reiterated that some rooms in the Circuit House in Amritsar will always be reserved for the judges.