It is shocking and degrading to learn that West UP is fast immersing in more and more violence, crime, riots etc yet there is no high court bench here! What is even more shocking is that this BJP government which is in power both in UP and Centre and which had earlier promised to set up a high court bench in West UP if it came to power in Centre is just skipping it conveniently. But the moot question is: For how long?
Just recently all newspapers were flooded with news of how badly and brutally a Swiss couple was attacked in Fatehpur Sikri in Agra for no fault of theirs. There is just no fear of law among criminals and even those indulging in petty crimes. They know fully well that West UP has no high court benches and it would take ages in deciding the case and victim would by then give up or the accused himself would by then die a natural death.
KJ Alphons who is Union Tourism Minister wrote to UP CM that, “Such incidents are detrimental to our efforts in promoting India as a tourism destination. We have given instructions to police to strictly deal with such people.” He is not alone in feeling so. Ban ki Moon who was earlier UN Secretary General had slammed UP and not Karnataka or Maharashtra or Assam as “rape and crime capital of India” still we see that UP has just one high court bench and that too just 150 km away from Allahabad at Lucknow and these 3 states have 3 benches each! Isn’t it shameful?
It is most disgraceful that more than half of pending cases are from West UP and still not a single bench of high court exists here. This despite the fact that Justice Jaswant Singh Commission had recommended 3 benches for West UP and hilly areas which now constitute a separate state named Uttarakhand but Centre for undisclosed reasons decided not to allow even a single bench anywhere in UP even though on its recommendations benches were created at Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Madurai in Tamil Nadu and Jalpaiguri in West Bengal! This is plain ridiculous!
What I find most shocking is that a single high court bench was created by Jawaharlal Nehru at Lucknow way back in 1948 on July 1 but after that not a single bench was created anywhere else in UP till date! Disgraceful! This despite the fact that 230th report of Law Commission recommended creation of more benches in states but till now it has been implemented only in Karnataka where two more benches were created at Dharwad and Gulbarga in Karnataka for just 4 and 8 districts but not a single bench for any of the 26 districts of West UP even though the lawyers of West UP have been striking for a long time like 6 months in 2001, 3 months in 2014-15, one month in 2010 and many weeks in 2009 in different months as also on Saturday since May 1981 and sometimes even on Wednesday!
Maximum riots, maximum killings, maximum gang rapes and maximum crimes of different kinds all take place in West UP yet no high court bench here! Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had himself raised the demand for a bench in Parliament in 1986 yet after 32 years in 2018 we see no bench still being created here! Why?
Maximum MPs, maximum MLAs, maximum PMs, maximum villages, maximum towns, maximum pending cases, maximum crime, maximum vacant posts of Judges etc are all in UP still it has least high court benches – only one at Lucknow! Why Allahabad High Court is biggest and oldest court in whole of Asia with maximum pending cases among all states in India but still has least benches only one and West UP has not got even a single bench? This is nothing but a national disgrace!
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 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?
In my entire life till now I have never seen Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and people of all religions unitedly demanding the setting up of a high court bench in West UP and it will benefit all of them equally but even all this is failing to convince Centre to act now finally? UP needs more high court benches and not more temples or idols or anti-Romeo squads or anything else! Why is Centre refusing to see the writing on the wall?
Yogi Adityanath had himself demanded a high court bench for Gorakhpur while he was MP in 1998 but now he has conveniently chosen to forget everything even as he completes more than 7 to 8 months in power! Why Satyapal Singh who has been made recently a Union Minister demanded the setting up of 5 high court benches at Meerut, Agra, Jhansi, Varanasi and Gorakhpur right inside Parliament but till now not even a single bench is being allowed to be set up anywhere in UP leave alone West UP? Is this is what BJP promised to be a “party with a difference”? Most hurting and shocking!
This is treachery and nothing but open treachery with more than 22 crore people of UP and more than 9 crore people of West UP who gave them vote with lots of hope and aspirations that they will create more benches in the whole of UP! Not a single bench created till date! Nehru could create a bench in 1948 but 70 years later no party can create a bench in West UP or in any other place other than Lucknow! Maximum farmers and maximum poverty in UP yet least benches in India! Disgraceful!
Just recently a woman committed suicide in one of the district of West UP as she was being threatened by those who committed gang rape. Woman are being murdered, raped and gangraped! This has been happening time and again. West UP has become the epicenter of all crime, rape, dacoities, gangrapes, murders and still Centre is not prepared to set up even a single Bench of High Court for any of the 26 districts of West UP!
Why victims of rape, gangrapes etc are compelled to travel all the way to Allahabad to attend a single hearing and it is seen that trains to Allahabad and Lucknow run many hours late and due to this the people living in West UP are made to suffer immensely? Why can’t a high court bench be created in West UP? Why all major national parties support the burgeoning demand for high court bench in West UP while meeting the delegation of lawyers from West UP?
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 about 700-800 km away to Allahabad to get delayed justice after few decades as Allahabad High Court is already overburdened with more than 10 lakh cases whereas no other state in India has more than 2 lakh peding cases and still some of them have 3 high court benches but UP has just one at Lucknow which is very close to Allahabad? How can all this be justified?
Why no steps are being taken to create a bench here even though it has been promised by many governments in Centre and by many Union Ministers? What stops Centre? Why Centre is ignoring that Soli J Sorabjee who is former Attorney General of India and one of the most reputed lawyer of Supreme Court had himself said that, “A high court bench in West UP can be created by Centre without the recommendation of the Chief Justice or State Government in this behalf”.
BN Krishnamani who is former Chairman of Supreme Court Bar Association had himself said that, “Only by the creation of a high court bench in West UP can the people get justice here”! Still it is not being created! Why? A deafening silence! Nothing else!