Ten-Second Takeaway

As intimidating as the gorgeous Bombay High Court is, did you know they had a tiny court museum hidden inside their premise? We checked it for your benefit, and here’s the lowdown on it.

You’ve Been Lawyered, My Lord

The Bombay High Court Museum is housed inside room number 17, just past the winding Victorian corridors of the High Court. It’s been almost two years since the museum was inaugurated on February 14, 2015, and yet it isn’t that well known in Mumbai. We dropped by the museum to see for ourselves, and came back all smiles with an upgraded awareness of the historical judicial system and the advocates of India and the British era.

Designed exactly like a court room, this museum has been curated really well – with old legal rolls, portraits of the advocates and a minuscule model of the Bombay High Court in a corner.

What We Love

Once we were done being in awe of the intricate and magnificent architecture of the High Court, and the black capes roaming around the space, the museum is a refreshing peaceful escape from the outside hustle. Be warned to expect hoards of lawyers and policemen and hassled people anxiously waiting for their legal proceedings as you walk to the museum, but the museum is worth the harrowing walk.

We found Barrister M.K Gandhi’s certificate of the year 1891, and his application to study law dating back to 1890s. Vallabhbhai Patel’s certificates and degree were displayed alongside too.

Up ahead of the room is a model court room of 1900 – modeled after the 20th century courtroom. With wooden chairs, tables, a feather ink pen and a vintage earliest typewriter, ‘Mignon 1905’, it’s all to British. We also found a British advocate’s gown, wig and box displayed safely inside a glass door. The walls of the museum, on the other hand, done portraits and informative charts and placards recollecting the rich and intertwined Indo-Brit legal history.

Once you’re done exploring the tiny but highly informative museum, head to the High Court Canteen. Get super cheap food and drinks there. Highly discounted, owing to its presence on the premise, it’s generally really crowded {especially during the afternoon}.

#LBBTip: The museum also displays a rare Fort Canon from 1864, one of the four canons that were used back in the day when Fort was used by the British Army to keep the enemies at bay.

So, We’re Saying…

We were completely taken in by the museum, it was almost like a secret door to the world of old judicial legal documents and the British era. It’s a fitting museum for anyone who a) is intrigued by the legal history b) loves the sprawling Victorian architecture of the Bombay High Court.

Timings: Tuesdays to Sundays;Shut on Mondays; 10am to 5pm

Photos: Jayati Bhola/LBB