The Karnataka High Court is the High Court of the Indian state of Karnataka. It is located in Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka. The High Court functions out of a red brick building known as Attara Kacheri. It is in front of Vidhana Soudha, which is the seat of the legislature of Karnataka.The Karnataka High Court is currently functional in Bangalore, Hubli-Dharwad and Gulbarga.
The history of the Karnataka High Court can be traced back to the year 1884, under the reign of the Maharaja of Mysore Chamarajendra Wadiyar, when the Chief Court of Mysore was reconstituted with three judges and was designated as the highest court of appeal in the princely State of Mysore.
Earlier The Court of the Chief Judge, Mysore, was set up in 1880 along with three other courts - the Court of District judges, the Bangalore Court of Small Causes and subordinate and Munsiff courts. The Bangalore Small Causes Court was abolished in 1881.
In 1930, it was renamed as the High Court of Mysore and the Chief Judge was given the new name of Chief Justice. In 1973, it got its present name of "Karnataka High Court".
The High Court is located in a building called as Attara Kacheri (meaning Eighteen offices). It is a two-storied building of stone and brick, painted red, in the Graeco-Roman style of architecture – a structure of vast expanse with Ionic porticoes at the center and at the two ends of the elevation. The construction of the building was supervised by Rao Bahadur Arcot Narayanaswami Mudaliar and completed in the year 1868. It was earlier named as Old Public Offices and got its name of Attara Kacheri when the eighteen departments in the general and revenue secretariat of the Mysore Government were shifted here from their crowded premises in Tipu Sultan's summer palace.Tipu's Palace was only a temporary house for the offices. When Bowring took over as Commissioner after Cubbon, he found the building unsuitable, both because of its state of maintenance as well as its limited accommodation which no longer sufficed for the much increased work of administering the State. It was he who conceived and prepared the plans for a full-fledged secretariat building in the city area. The construction was taken up in 1864 and completed at a cost of Rs. 4.5 lakhs in 1868.
There was a proposal to demolish this building in the year 1982.However, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in order to save this old building from getting demolished. This was the first PIL to be filed in the Karnataka High court and the case was heard in the very building that was supposed to be demolished.In August 1984, the judges M. N. Venkatachaliah and Vittal Rao pronounced a judgement that stayed the demolition.