Let me start by wishing my countrymen the very best wishes on this day that is 26th November on which day our Constitution was prepared after years of relentless toil. This alone explains why 26th November is celebrated as “Law Day” and “Constitution Day”. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra among others have very rightly expressed their best wishes on this auspicious day!
Let me be direct in asking: Why when on the recommendations of Justice Jaswant Singh Commission a high court bench was created in Auranagabad in Maharashtra, Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and Madurai in Tamil Nadu then why not a single bench for UP even though 3 benches were recommended for it? Why Centre allowed the people of Uttarakhand to become agitated by not setting up a single high court bench there? Why Centre cared the least also for West UP which alone accounts for more than 57% pending cases as was acknowledged by Justice Jaswant Commission itself due to which it recommended creation of high court bench here?
Is this not a violation of Article 14 of Constitution which talks about equality? Why talk about just West UP alone? Even in Bundelkhand, Western part of Odisha and many other parts in different states we see that people have to suffer all types of inconveniences because their region has no high court bench! Why the 230th report of Law Commission was not implemented in all these needy places?
I fully appreciate the Lok Adalats and other steps like video conferencing to reduce the pending cases but they alone are simply not enough! Government has just no other option but to set up more high court benches in all those places where needed. Former UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon had himself castigated the law and order situation in UP and slammed it as “rape and crime capital” of India yet Centre is not ready to set up more high court benches here!
I unequivocally hail PM Modi’s many initiatives like awarding the district where the number of pending cases are reduced maximum in a given year but they in itself are just not sufficient to address the burgeoning Frankenstein monster of pending cases unless more high court benches are created in big states like UP especially in West UP! Just recently a 100 year old woman was raped in West UP in Meerut and what is worse is that to seek justice she too has no option but to travel all the way about more than 700 km away to Allahabad as there is not even a single bench of high court here! What sort of justice system is this? Bench so close at Lucknow but no bench in West UP or in Bundelkhand like in Jhansi nor in far off places like Gorakhpur which CM Yogi represents since many decades!
A serious disease like cancer cannot be treated by just a band aid or strepsil. All other steps to address the huge pending cases are bound to fall flat unless and until more high court benches are created in big states like UP, Bihar, Rajasthan among others! But nothing just nothing is being done on this score and only one state that is Karnataka has stood to gain from the recommendations of 230th report of Law Commission which till 2012 had just one bench at Hubli! Why is Centre not taking any steps in this regard? Why more than 9 crore people of West UP are being rashly denied “cheap and speedy justice” since 1947 till 2017? Why if Supreme Court in near future direct Centre to create more benches will it have the temerity to term it as “judicial activism”? With what face? Why can’t it take emergency steps well in time?
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.