Located on the main Ring Road (Mahatma Gandhi Road), just near the Civil Lines Metro Station is the Old Secretariat, the present seat of the Delhi Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha). Designed by E. Montague Thomas, the building was constructed in 1912 to house the secretariat after the British capital shifted from Calcutta (Kolkata) to Delhi. Considered to be a ‘handsome building with a long front line and two lateral structures’ and about 10 acres of garden, the first sitting of the Legislative Council of the Central Government was held here in the Chamber on 27th January 1913. Thereafter the Council continued to meet here till the Parliament House building was completed and its opening ceremony was performed, on 18th January 1927. Thus the Old Secretariat building has tremendous historic value, as it was here that the foundation of India’s future Parliament was laid. Many important bills, legislations, debates, matters of constitutional reforms and procedures were discussed, evolved and were finally adopted here.
The first convocation of Delhi University was also held here in this building on 26th March 1923 and later the building was allotted to the University on a monthly rental. After independence it was used for holding academic and cultural events till the time Delhi got its own Assembly in 1952. The Assembly was soon disbanded and it then served as a place where deliberations of the Metropolitan Council used to take place. Finally it became the seat of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha in 1993 when Delhi again gained an assembly. However, Delhi Assembly will soon shift to the new secretariat building, which is under construction near Rajghat