Goindocal: So what if ever since 1955 when Dr Sampoorna Nand, the then Chief Minister of UP recommended that a Bench of High Court be established in West UP at Meerut, at least 14 Chief Ministers have time and again recommended for establishment of a Bench of High Court in West UP?
So what if the Supreme Court Bar Association, Delhi High Court Bar Association as well as various others are openly supporting with full force the creation of a Bench in West UP? What can be a bigger injustice for the common man of West UP than the harsh and lamentable fact that the High Courts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and above all even Lahore High Court are nearer to West UP in comparison to Allahabad High Court? Who suffers as a result? It is the common man who is the worst affected.
The 18th Law Commission in its 230th report noted : " It is also necessary that the work of the High Courts is decentralized, that is, more Benches are established in all States. The Benches should be so established that a litigant is not required to travel long. It is true that the new establishments will require money, but it is necessary as a development measure, particularly, when efforts are being made for all-round development of the country.
Therefore, the money should not be a problem. We have to watch and protect the interest of the litigants. We must always keep in mind that the existence of judges and advocates is because of the litigants and they are there to serve their cause only. Sometimes, some advocates object to creation of new Benches and selection of new sites for construction of new buildings. But they raise objections in their personal, limited interest. Creation of new Benches is certainly beneficial for the litigants and the lawyers and a beginning has to be made somewhere.’’
The population of West UP is nearly seven crores and yet no Bench whereas 5 states whose population is much lesser have their own High Court and Benches? The population of Madhya Pradesh is just 6.62 crores and it has its High Court in Jabalpur and Benches at Bhopal, Indore and Gwalior? Similarly Maharashtra whose population is 7.89 crore has High Court at Mumbai and Benches at Nagpur and Aurangabad.
Also West Bengal's population is 6.81 crore and it has High Court at Kolkata and Bench at Port Blair. The population of Rajasthan is only 4.40 crore which is much less than West UP's figure of 6 crore and yet it has its High Court at Jodhpur and Bench at Jaipur? Similarly Tamil Nadu whose population is 5.57 crore, Gujarat - 4.13 crore, Assam - 2.24 crore and yet they all have their own High Court and benches also . Then why not for people of West UP whose strength is more than 7 crore? Most of all , the government accepting a long standing demand from the people of North – East , the Lok Sabha has agreed to the setting up of three High Courts in the North – Eastern states of Tripura , Manipur and Meghalaya .
But what about setting up just a High Court bench and not even a High Court for rendering speedy justice to the more than 6 million people residing in West UP which is more than the population of people in either of the three states – Tripura , Manipur and Meghalaya ? Government must spare some food of thought for them also who have been relentlessly pitching in for the same since independence but whose voice has been blithely disregarded by all the successive governments in Centre since independence which is most unfortunate ! Can anyone deny that the area of central region of UP is just 62, 363 square km and still there is a Bench at Lucknow whereas the area of West UP is 98, 933 square km but still no Bench? Is it really fair?
Can anyone deny that the distance from Allahabad to Meerut is 637 km, to Muzaffarnagar is 693 km, to Saharanpur is nearly 752 km to Baghpat is 700 km, to Ghaziabad is 662 km, to Bijnore is 692 km, to Gautam Budh Nagar is 650 km, to Bulandshahar is 567 km, to Hathras is 550 km, to Rampur is 633 km, to Moradabad is 662 km, to Aligarh and Mathura is 501 km, to Agra is 464 km, to Etah is 497 km and to Mainpuri is 462 km? Under such circumstances how can cheap, affordable and speedy justice be delivered to the litigants of West UP?
According to a statement by learned Andhra Pradesh High Court Judge Justice VV Rao in March 2010 , ‘ ‘ The Indian judiciary would take 320 years to clear the backlog of 31.28 million cases pending in various courts including High Courts in the country’’. Any attempt to speed up the disbursal of justice could go a long way in addressing the problem and what better than the setting up of more High Court benches and to start with which state is better than UP which is one of the biggest state in India , has maximum pending cases among all the states accounting for nearly half of the total pending cases and here too it is West UP which accounts for most of the cases among the pending cases in UP !