Why UP has just one High Court Bench and West UP none?

A high court bench in the state of UP had been cre­ated by Jawa­har­lal Nehru way back in 1948 at Luc­know but no bench was cre­ated any­where else in the state.

Alive - - Contents - by San­jeev Sirohi

It must be stated at the very out­set that it is quite be­wil­der­ing and baf­fling to see that the state of UP which Ban ki moon who is the former UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral had slammed as the “rape and crime cap­i­tal of In­dia” has the least high court benches in In­dia just one and that too just about 200 km away from Al­la­habad at Luc­know cre­ated way back on July 1 in 1948 when Jawa­har­lal Nehru was the Prime Min­is­ter! What is even more rep­re­hen­si­ble is that West UP com­pris­ing of 26 dis­tricts which owe for about more than half of the to­tal pend­ing cases of UP has not even a sin­gle bench of high court! Why such a raw, third rated and step moth­erly treat­ment for

West UP?

Why the high court and benches of 8 states and above all even La­hore high court in Pak­istan is closer to West UP as com­pared to Al­la­habad high court? Why no at­tempt has been made to cre­ate more benches for UP par­tic­u­larly for West UP which owes for max­i­mum ri­ots, max­i­mum rapes, max­i­mum killings etc and still there is no bench here? Worst of all, why even the in­valu­able rec­om­men­da­tion made by Jus­tice Jaswant Singh who was a former Judge of the Supreme Court and former Chief Jus­tice of Jammu and Kash­mir High

Court and ap­pointed by former PM late Mrs Indira Gandhi as head of Jaswant Singh Com­mis­sion to look into where all benches were re­quired and who rec­om­mended 3 benches for UP with main bench at Agra where high court it­self of UP was lo­cated from 1866 to 1869 and 2 cir­cuit benches at Dehradun and Naini­tal even though on its rec­om­men­da­tions benches were cre­ated at Au­rangabad in Ma­ha­rash­tra which has been func­tion­ing since 1985 as also at Madu­rai in Tamil Nadu and Jal­paig­uri in

West Ben­gal?

Why even Supreme

Court did not take notice of this glar­ing dis­par­ity and open cheat­ing with the more than 9 crore peo­ple of West UP and set up an in­de­pen­dent SIT (Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tion Team) to look into it as to why Cen­tre back­stabbed UP so bru­tally even though max­i­mum PM have all been from UP in­clud­ing Mrs Indira Gandhi who had set up the Jaswant Singh Com­mis­sion to look into where all benches are needed? Why the nearly one crore peo­ple of hilly ar­eas of UP now cre­ated into a sep­a­rate state in Ut­tarak­hand in 2000 were still com­pelled to travel more than thou­sand kilo­me­ters all the way to Al­la­habad as Cen­tre re­fused to setup a bench ei­ther at Dehradun where the cap­i­tal of Ut­tarak­hand is now lo­cated or at Naini­tal where high court is now lo­cated?

Why other states where pend­ing cases in high courts didn’t ex­ceed even one lakh were given more benches and which al­ready had benches like Ma­ha­rash­tra which al­ready had bench at Au­rangabad and Panaji but UP which owes for more than 10 lakh pend­ing cases in high court it­self which is more than the pend­ing cases of 10 states put to­gether and more than 65 lakh cases in lower courts which is more than nearly all other states put to­gether was still de­nied even a sin­gle high court bench?

Ma­ha­rash­tra gets one more

Why once again in 2018 Cen­tre de­cided to favour Ma­ha­rash­tra and cre­ate one more bench for it in Kol­ha­pur for just 6 dis­tricts but again de­cided not to cre­ate even a sin­gle bench for any part of UP even though former PM Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee had de­manded bench for West UP in Par­lia­ment in 1986 and present Chief Min­is­ter Yogi Adityanath had de­manded a high court bench for Go­rakh­pur in

1998 in Par­lia­ment as he was MP from Go­rakh­pur then? Why Cen­tre from 1955-2012 re­peat­edly took mem­o­ran­dums from the lawyers of West UP de­mand­ing high court bench and as­sured them re­peat­edly while also la­belling it as a “jus­ti­fied de­mand” but when it came to set­ting up of bench de­cided to go out of turn for Kar­nataka and cre­ate 2 more benches there for just 4 and 8 dis­tricts re­spec­tively at Dhar­wad and Gul­barga while stub­bornly re­fus­ing to cre­ate even a sin­gle bench for not just West UP but for any other part of UP in­clud­ing Bun­delk­hand? Why was it ig­nored that the pop­u­la­tion of Kar­nataka is just about 6 crore yet it has high court and 3 benches at Hubli, Dhar­wad and Gul­barga but West UP with more than 9 crore pop­u­la­tion has not even a sin­gle bench and UP with more than 22 crore pop­u­la­tion as UP CM Yogi Adityananth keeps proudly re­call­ing ev­ery now and then has just one bench cre­ated way back in 1948 more than sev­enty years ago?

Why was it ig­nored by Cen­tre that Al­la­habad high court is the largest court not just in In­dia but whole of Asia and also one of the old­est high court in In­dia along with Cal­cutta,

Bom­bay and Madras yet has just one high court bench?

Why other states where pend­ing cases in high courts didn’t ex­ceed even one lakh were given more benches and which al­ready had benches like Ma­ha­rash­tra which al­ready had bench at Au­rangabad and Panaji but UP which owes for more than 10 lakh pend­ing cases in high court it­self which is more than the pend­ing cases of 10 states put to­gether and more than 65 lakh cases in lower courts which is more than nearly all other states put to­gether was still de­nied even a sin­gle high court bench?

Why max­i­mum Judges for Al­la­habad high court – 160 which is high­est in In­dia yet min­i­mum benches again? Why UP has max­i­mum dis­tricts 75, max­i­mum MPs in Lok Sabha 80, max­i­mum MPs in Ra­jya Sabha 31, max­i­mum MLAs in Vid­han Sabha 404, max­i­mum MLAs in Vid­han Par­ishad 100, max­i­mum vil­lages more than one lakh, max­i­mum towns more than 700, max­i­mum pend­ing cases, max­i­mum ri­ots, max­i­mum crime etc yet has just one bench? Why no at­tempt made to cre­ate more benches?

No at­ten­tion paid

Why even six months strike by lawyers of 26 dis­tricts of West UP thrice as they did in 2001, three to four months strike as they did in 2014-15, two months as they did in 2010 and one month as they did in 2009 apart from the strike ev­ery Satur­day and even on Wed­nes­day apart from the many strike for weeks ev­ery year has failed to shake Cen­tre in tak­ing any con­crete step for cre­at­ing a high court bench in West UP? Why Cen­tre fails to ap­pre­ci­ate that the peo­ple of more than 26dis­tricts of West UP are com­pelled fool­ishly to travel more than 700-750 km on an av­er­age all the way to Al­la­habad which takes a whole night and peo­ple are com­pelled to travel many times to travel with­out reser­va­tions when they have to go all of a sud­den many times? Still should a high court bench not be cre­ated in West UP?

If not then why Luc­know has a bench when the dis­tance till Al­la­habad is just about 200km? Can’t the peo­ple of Luc­know and ad­join­ing dis­tricts travel 200-250 km to Al­la­habad when the peo­ple of 26 dis­tricts of West UP can travel so far? If Luc­know is cap­i­tal then so is Bhopal which is cap­i­tal of MP, Bhubanesh­war which is cap­i­tal of Odisha, Dehradun which is cap­i­tal of Ut­tarak­hand and Thiru­vanan­tha­pu­ran which is cap­i­tal of Ker­ala yet all these cap­i­tal cities have nei­ther high court nor bench? Is this fair?

Why the pop­u­la­tion of West UP at more than 9 crore is more than all other states ex­cept UP of which it is a part, Ma­ha­rash­tra and Bi­har and here too the area of West UP at 98,933 square km is more than Bi­har with just 94,000 square km yet West UP has not even a bench of high court leave alone hav­ing high court it­self? Why Luc­know has bench for just12 dis­tricts and area 62,000 square km but West UP with 26 dis­tricts and 98,933 square km has no bench? Why the rec­om­men­da­tions made by many UP CM like Sam­poor­nanand who in 1955 had rec­om­mended a bench for West UP at Meerut was re­peat­edly over­looked by Cen­tre? Why when Mayawati rec­om­mended West UP to be cre­ated as a sep­a­rate state in 1995 did Cen­tre not ac­cept it? Why even a sin­gle bench was not ap­proved?

Just spend­ing lakhs and crores of ru­pees on na­tional high­ways as BJP did will not en­sure vic­tory in elec­tions in West UP as lawyers had de­clared their aim of de­feat­ing BJP pub­licly at any cost as they didn’t ap­prove bench for 26

Why Cen­tre dis­re­garded the most com­mend­able rec­om­men­da­tion made by one of the most em­i­nent ju­rist of In­dia – Soli J Sorab­jee who as At­tor­ney Gen­eral in 2001 had cat­e­gor­i­cally rec­om­mended that, “Cen­tre is em­pow­ered to cre­ate a high court bench in West UP with­out any rec­om­men­da­tion from the Chief Jus­tice or Chief Min­is­ter or any­one else in this re­gard”?

dis­tricts of West UP even though it took no time to cre­ate a bench at Kol­ha­pur for just 6 dis­tricts where pend­ing cases of all dis­tricts is less than that of Meerut alone and still Cen­tre is not pre­pared to cre­ate even a sin­gle bench in any of the 26 dis­tricts of West UP even though tall lead­ers of BJP dur­ing elec­tions time like Ra­j­nath Singh and oth­ers had promised that they would cre­ate a bench soon if voted to power in UP and Cen­tre? But even af­ter more than 4 years in power in Cen­tre we see no ac­tion on the ground! This ex­plains why BJP lost in by elec­tions in both Kairana and Noor­pur! Ear­lier also in Go­rakh­pur BJP lost as there also no bench has been cre­ated till now even though CM him­self had raised it in Par­lia­ment in 1998 and BJP MP Ra­jin­der Agar­wal from Meerut and an­other BJP MP from Bagh­pat and Union Min­is­ter Satya­pal Singh too had de­manded 5 benches for UP at Go­rakh­pur, Meerut, Agra, Jhansi and Varanasi but we see not a sin­gle bench is be­ing ap­proved till now!

Cen­tre can do it

As per the Sec­tion 51 of the States Re­or­gan­i­sa­tion Act of 1956, the Cen­tre can cre­ate a high court bench in any of these 3 states – UP, Bi­har and J&K di­rectly by bring­ing it up in Par­lia­ment. Cen­tre does not need any rec­om­men­da­tion from State Gov­ern­ment or the Chief Jus­tice as has been very wrongly prop­a­gated for many decades! What a na­tional dis­grace that these very 3 states – Ut­tar Pradesh, Jammu and Kash­mir and Bi­har keep on grab­bing the na­tional news head­lines for all the wrong rea­sons as crime in­ci­dents keep mul­ti­ply­ing very rapidly and what is worst is Cen­tre’s stupid and crazy de­ter­mi­na­tion to not al­low a sin­gle more bench in all these 3 states!

Even lawyers in Al­la­habad it­self are not safe! We all saw how a young lawyer Ra­jesh Shri­vas­tav aged 45 in Al­la­habad was shot dead mer­ci­lessly in broad day­light in mar­ket it­self while he was on his way to court! Crim­i­nals know that it take ages for cases to be de­cided in UP as UP has least benches in In­dia and max­i­mum pend­ing cases in In­dia no mat­ter how many tall claims UP CM may make time and again! UP Chief Jus­tice

Dilip Babasa­heb Bhos­ale in a case in­volv­ing rape of few women on na­tional high­way in Bu­land­shahr in West UP rightly said that there is to­tal law­less­ness in UP as com­pared to Ma­ha­rash­tra where women can travel alone in night any­where and this I have also seen my­self at Pune from where I did LLB but see the dif­fer­ence that Ma­ha­rash­tra has four high court benches with lat­est at Kol­ha­pur for just 6 dis­tricts and Pune is all set to get an­other as CM Deven­dra Fad­navis has ap­proved it for which we all must ap­plaud him but Cen­tre is not ready to set up one bench more any­where in UP! When Ma­ha­rash­tra can get benches in no time then why Al­la­habad High Court in UP which has max­i­mum pend­ing cases be de­nied its due share?

Why sug­ges­tions not ac­cepted?

Why Cen­tre dis­re­garded the most com­mend­able rec­om­men­da­tion made by one of the most em­i­nent ju­rist of In­dia – Soli J Sorab­jee who as At­tor­ney Gen­eral in 2001 had cat­e­gor­i­cally rec­om­mended that, “Cen­tre is em­pow­ered to cre­ate a high court bench in West UP with­out any rec­om­men­da­tion from the Chief Jus­tice or Chief Min­is­ter or any­one else in this re­gard”? Why Cen­tre even dis­re­garded what former Chair­man of Supreme Court Bar As­so­ci­a­tion BN Kr­ish­na­mani said that, “Only by the cre­ation of a high court bench in any of the dis­tricts in West UP will the peo­ple liv­ing there get real jus­tice”? If UP can’t be given more benches and West UP can’t have even one bench then all benches in In­dia must be dis­banded right now be­cause it is the peo­ple of West UP who are suf­fer­ing the most be­cause of no bench here!

Why can’t Cen­tre take se­ri­ous steps to ad­dress this can­cer­ous prob­lem root and branch and not just re­sort to baby steps and bandaid mea­sures like re­duc­ing time limit to reach Delhi by spend­ing many crores of ru­pees on cre­at­ing 14 lane na­tional high­ways but do­ing noth­ing at all to cre­ate more benches any­where in UP so that peo­ple are not com­pelled to travel whole night to Al­la­habad? Why can’t this be done? Is it such a big deal?

There is only one Bench of High Court in UP cre­ated in 1948 at Luc­know.

The state of Ut­tar Pradesh reel­ing un­der max­i­mum ri­ots, rapes and killings.

West UP com­prises of 26 dis­tricts which owe for about more than half of the to­tal pend­ing cases in UP.

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