In 2019, the Bihar Government proposed to demolish the old Patna Collectorate for a new high-rise complex, part of which was built during the Dutch-era, situated on the banks of the Ganga and is endowed with high ceilings, huge doors, and hanging skylights.
The Collectorate is one of the last surviving signatures of Dutch architecture in Patna, especially the Record Room and the old District Engineer's Office. The British-era structures in its complex include the DM Office Building and District Board Patna Building.
This proposal of the government triggered public outcry and appeals from various quarters in India and abroad to prevent the demolition. A petition was filed by Indian National Trust For Art & Cultural Heritage (INTACH) in Patna High Court to stop the demolition but on 6th September, the High Court rejected the plea and said that the structure, which the State had planned to demolish to make way for a new building, had no aesthetic, historical, or cultural significance.
Challenging this order, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court, where the bench comprising of Chief Justice SA Bobde, and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued a notice to the Bihar Government on 18th September.
The bench sought a response from the Bihar government within two weeks on the plea filed by Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Patna Chapter, challenging the High Court order.
The bench said “Issue notice returnable two weeks. In the meantime, the status quo of the disputed building i.e. Collectorate shall be maintained by the parties.”