Why when a bench of high court could be created by Jawaharlal Nehru way back in 1948 on July 1 at Lucknow, a high court bench cannot be created in any of the 26 districts of West UP even as 2018 is about to begin? Why this worst case of discrimination between people of East UP and West UP? Why agitations and strikes by lawyers of West UP since last more than 50 years has failed to compel Centre to create a high court bench in West UP?
Why should more than 9 crore people of West UP travel all the way to Allahabad to attend court hearings every now and then even as train runs late many times and litigants have to bear all kinds of problems and waste huge money in it? When a high court bench can be created so close to Allahabad at Lucknow then why can’t it be set up in any of the 26 districts of West UP which are 700-800 km away from Allahabad? Why Bhopal which is capital of Madhya Pradesh, Bhubaneshwar which is capital of Odisha, Thiruvanthapuram which is capital of Kerala, Dehradun which is capital of Uttarakhand has neither high court nor bench but in Uttar Pradesh a single high court bench was set up so close at Lucknow just because it is capital?
Why different parameters for different capital cities? Why no high court or bench for Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Dehradun, Thiruvananthapuram and others? Why have they been singled out? Why UP slammed by former UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon as “crime and rape capital” of India has least benches and not maximum?
Why UP has maximum population which is more than 22 crores as Yogi Adityanath keeps boasting every now and then which is more than the population of many countries in the world has least high court benches? Why West UP which owes for more than half of pending cases of UP and which tops in rape, gangrape, riots, murders, etc has not even a single bench of high court? Why Justice Jaswant Singh Commission headed by former Supreme Court Judge Jaswant Singh had strongly recommended 3 benches for West UP at Agra, Nainital and Dehradun as then Uttarakhand too formed part of UP and West UP but Centre did not create even a single bench here even though on its recommendations benches were created at Aurangabad in Maharashtra which already had 2 benches at Nagpur and Goa, Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and Madurai in Tamil Nadu?
Why maximum MPs, MLAs, PMs are all from UP but still it has least high court benches? Why maximum towns about 915 from UP and more than a lakh villages in UP still least high court benches? Why 2 more high court benches were created as circuit benches for Karnataka at Dharwad and Gulbarga for just 4 and 8 districts respectively way back in 2008 which later in 2012 were made permanent benches but not a single bench was approved for West UP even though lawyers of West UP went on strike demanding bench for 6 months in 2001, one month in 2010, three months in 2014-15 apart from the strike on Wednesdays and Saturdays and many other strike calls for many weeks as we saw just recently and regularly leaders in previous UPA government as well as present NDA government keep assuring the people about creation of a high court bench in West UP? Why such a raw third rated treatment for West UP alone which has more than 9 crore population?
Why a high court for just 88 lakh people could be created for Uttarakhand in 2000 but not a single bench of high court for more than 9 crore people even in 2017-18? Why high court could be created for just 14 lakh, 18 lakh or 20 lakh people at Meghalaya, Tripura and Manipur but not a single bench for 9 crore people of West UP? Why UP has more than 10 lakh pending cases whereas other states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam among others have not even more than one lakh cases pending but still they have got 3 high court benches? Why Andaman and Nicobar islands with 3 lakh population has bench but not West UP with 9 crore population?
Why high court and benches of 8 states and even Lahore high court in Pakistan is nearer to West UP as compared to Allahabad still no bench is being created here? Why West UP inspite of emerging as epicenter of murders, rapes, gangrapes and communal clashes still has no high court bench which only punishes victims especially woman who has been raped or gangraped to travel all the way to Allahabad to get justice? Why even the rape of a 100 year old woman has failed to shake our politicians and jolt them to creating a high court bench in West UP?
Why even the repeated attacks on foreigners as happened with a Swiss couple in Agra just recently has failed to shake our politicians to initiate steps to create a high court bench in West UP? Why 230th report of Law Commission which recommended setting up of more high court benches has been implemented only in Karnataka where 2 more benches were set up even though a bench already existed at Hubli but other big states like UP and Bihar notorious for lawlessness and crime have been left out in the cold to shiver and suffer for themselves by braving themselves all the crime and lawlessness? Why not a single high court bench more for UP other than the one at Lucknow created way back in 1948? Why no high court benches for West UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Odisha and other big states? Why partial favouritism only for Karnataka by creating 2 more benches for just 4 and 8 districts even though a bench already existed at Hubli?
Why BJP while in Opposition had repeatedly promised that if it comes to power in UP and Centre then it will certainly create a high court bench in West UP but even after more than 3 years in power in Centre and more than 6 months in power in UP has done nothing except giving false assurances time and again? Why Rajnath Singh who is Union Home Minister, Amit Shah who is BJP President, Sanjeev Baliyan who is BJP MP from Muzaffarnagar, Brijesh Pathak who is Law Minister of UP, Dr Satyapal Singh who is former Mumbai Police Commissioner and just recently made Union Minister who advocated creation of 5 high court benches in UP at Meerut, Agra, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Jhansi but not one bench is being created in the whole of UP except the one that already exists at Lucknow created way back in 1948 by former PM Jawaharlal Nehru? Why many others from BJP also like Gen VK Singh have also time and again assured the setting up of high court bench in West UP with Baliyan even assuring that bench would be created by end of 2016 but now even as 2017 is ending we see no action happening on the ground?
One can understand that Atal Bihari Vajpayee inspite of having raised the demand for setting up a high court bench in West UP as early as 1986 could not do anything because his party did not have the full mandate but what about our Modiji and Yogiji both of whom enjoy brute majority in Centre and UP both and yet till now are doing absolutely nothing!
The lawyers of West UP are fighting people’s fight for justice and not a fight for themselves! If a bench is created here it is the litigants of West UP who will be saved from the unnecessary trouble of getting reservation done to Allahabad which many times is not available in which case they have to travel without reservation whole night to Allahabad and many times train are late by many hours which further wastes their time and then they are unable to find many times a lodge to spend a night especially those who are not so rich and then hire expensive lawyers etc!
The lawyers of West UP are not asking anything for themselves but are asking for just a high court bench in any of the 26 districts of West UP at either Meerut or Ghaziabad or Noida or Hapur or Greater Noida or Muzaffarnagar or any other district of West UP so that people don’t have to waste so much time in getting reservation done, in travelling so far to Allahabad about 700-800 km away and suffer all other inconveniences but Centre is just refusing to budge at all! Why? It is high time and Centre must have some pity on at least aged women like the 100 year old woman who was raped just recently in Meerut and who would have to now travel 700-800 km all the way to Allahabad to seek justice at such a ripe old age because there is no high court bench in any of the 26 districts of West UP! Is this fair? West UP accounts for more than half of the pending cases in UP which tops the states list and still we see that West UP has not even a single bench of high court!
How can this be justified on any ground? Centre must stop dishing out excuses and act now by promptly creating a high court bench in West UP just like Jawaharlal Nehru created one in Lucknow way back in 1948 and Dr Manmohan Singh created 2 benches for just 4 and 8 districts in Dharwad and Gulbarga respectively! Only then can its reputation be salvaged to a large extent. It has got such a huge absolute majority in UP that has been mentioned even by US President Donald Trump not to just create Ram temples and forbid cow slaughter but also to make sure that justice is accessible to one and all by creating more benches on a war footing that shall benefit equally people from all religions, castes, communities and sexes equally! UP CM Yogi Adityanath had himself demanded a high court bench for Gorakhpur in 1998 right inside Parliament as MP but you see the irony that even after 20 years in 2018 we see no high court bench even though he is now UP CM since March 2017 and in Lucknow a bench exists since 1948 even though it is so close to Allahabad where high court itself is located! This is terrible! West UP, Gorakhpur and Bundelkhand a high court bench is needed and nothing else!
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.