Dominating the east side of Oval Maidan is the Mumbai High Court, originally the Old Secretariat, which the Raj historian G.W. Forrest described in 1903 “a massive pile whose main features have been brought from Venice, but all the beauty has vanished in trans-shipment”. With its gigantic pitched roofs and balconies shaded by enormous rattan blinds, the building has changed little since. Take a peek inside, where lawyers in black gowns, striped trousers and white tabs bustle up and down the staircases, and office desks are piled high with dusty be-ribboned bundles of documents – a vision of Indian bureaucracy at its most Dickensian.

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