Tuesday, February 20, 2018

February 20, 2018
It has to be conceded with grace that what Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has done by facilitating the setting up of a high court bench in Kolhapur in Western Maharashtra is really worth emulating! He has to be commended in no uncertain terms! He has been able to do what no UP CM has been able to do till now!
                                       This despite the fact that Justice Jaswant Singh Commission appointed by former PM late Mrs Indira Gandhi to look into where all benches are needed had recommended bench for Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Madurai in Tamil Nadu and Jalpaiguri in West Bengal which were all accepted and created soon but when it came to UP the recommendation to create a high court bench in Agra, Dehradun and Nainital was not accepted and not even a single bench was created in any of these places! Disgusting! Can on earth there be something more shameful than this? Most shameful!
                                           Needless to say, this really reflects the deepest ill feelings that those in power in Centre nurtured against West UP! That same saga is continuing till now! It is UP which has maximum pending cases numbering more than 10 lakh in high court and more than 50,000 in lower courts and still it has just one bench about 150 km away at Lucknow. But Maharashtra has less than one lakh pending cases and yet it already has 3 high court benches at Aurangabad, Nagpur and Panaji. Now a fourth bench at Kolhapur.
                                            It is UP which has maximum population more than 22 crore and Maharashtra has just 11 crore still Maharashtra has now 4 high court benches. As if this is not enough, Fadnavis had even categorically assured the setting up of a bench in Pune. He has said as reported in ‘The Indian Express’ dated October 25, 2015 that the state has requested the Bombay High Court to set up a bench each in Pune and Kolhapur.
                                            Going forward, he minced no words in making it absolutely clear while addressing a conference of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa that, “The demand of lawyers seeking a bench in Pune and Kolhapur is justified. The Cabinet has decided to approve this demand and has sent a request to the Bombay High Court to set up these benches.” For long, lawyers have been demanding a bench of the high court in Western Maharashtra and Fadnavis has supported the demand for a bench in both Pune and Kolhapur. A large number of cases pending in the high court are from Western Maharashtra and people from the region travel to Aurangabad, Nagpur and Mumbai to seek justice!    
                                             To put things in perspective, Fadnavis said that of the pending cases in the high court, at least 25 percent were from Western Maharashtra. Pune district alone accounts for 50 percent of the cases. This explains why the lawyers of Pune want a high court bench to be set up there.
                                    To be sure, Food and Civil Supplies Minister of Maharashtra – Girish Bapat has also said that the city of Pune will also get a circuit bench. He assured that the assurance given by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will not go in vain! Benches will come up in both Pune and Kolhapur.
                                          The Kolhapur bench of high court will have jurisdiction over 6 districts. These 6 districts are – Kolhapur, Solapur, Ratnagiri, Satara, Sangli and Sindhudurg. The lawyers from these districts had in 2013 refused to appear before the Magistrate and session courts till their demands were met. Thereafter, the High Court of Bombay had even issued them a show cause notice. But now after a long protracted struggle, the high court bench in Kolhapur is soon set to become a reality!
                                       Truly speaking, the Chief Minister of big states especially UP – Yogi Adityanath must take the right inspiration from what has been done in Maharashtra and should order at least 5 high court benches as Union Minister and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh had demanded earlier at Meerut, Agra, Varanasi, Jhansi and Gorakhpur. But even after nearly one year in office we are yet to see any action on this score! It would be the worst travesty of justice if UP despite having maximum MPs, maximum MLAs, maximum districts, maximum cities, maximum villages more than one lakh, maximum pending cases, maximum crime incidents to the extent that Ban ki moon who is former UN Secretary General had slammed it as “rape and crime capital of India” where nobody is safe has yet least benches!
                                     Truth be told, Fadnavis being a lawyer himself who did his 5 year LLB course from Government Law College, Nagpur in 1992 has made the people proud of him by approving 2 benches at Pune and Kolhapur way back in 2015! But what about Yogi Adityanath? Even in 2018 we are yet to see him assuring the setting up of even a single high court bench not just in West UP but in any part of UP! Is this fair?
                                           To put things in perspective, the Kolhapur District Bar Association President Advocate Rajendra Chavan has said that the pendency for the six districts is over 60,000 cases and that litigants residing in remote areas of Kolhapur cannot come back home on the same day if their case is listed before the high court in Bombay. But the situation in West UP is much worse where the litigants of 26 districts of West UP are compelled to travel more than 700-800 km all  the way to Allahabad as there is no bench in West UP in 2018. The distance from Kolhapur to high court bench in Panaji is just 206 km! Not just this the pending cases of West UP accounts for more than half of total pending cases of UP and Kolhapur is just no patch to West UP in terms of number of pending cases still bench has been approved for Kolhapur with lawyers there distributing sweets and lawyers of West UP boycotting work not just on February 15 to protest this raw injustice but also calling for strike fromFebruary 19-26!
                                             The worst irony is that Lucknow has high court bench since July 1, 1948 but for West UP no bench even 70 years later in 2018! Karnataka has just about 6 crore population which is less than West UP population at 9 crore still Karnataka has a high court and 3 benches at Hubli, Dharwad and Gulbarga but West UP has not even a single high court bench! For just 4 and 8 districts of Dharwad and Gulbarga benches were created in 2008 first as circuit bench and then made full bench in 2012 but for West UP even in 2018 not a single bench! Disgusting!    
                                   Simply put, PWD Minister of Maharashtra Chandrakant Patil who is also the guardian minister for Kolhapur said that there are more than 25,000 cases from the district pending in the high court for which litigants go to Mumbai. The setting up of the circuit bench in Kolhapur is going to benefit the litigants as it will save their time and money! Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis while expressing his absolute happiness said that he hoped that the Bench will start functioning from next month!
                                            It takes great guts to do what Fadnavis has done. He has assured that a bench in Kolhapur starts operating soon which now will soon become a reality. He certainly deserves applause from all of us for his bold decision!
                                           He has also urged the Bombay High Court to set up a bench in Pune! How I wish our UP CM Yogi Adityanath too derives the inspiration from Fadnavis and follow suit as his landmark decision to create bench in Kolhapur is worth emulating!  But the billion dollar question is: Will Yogi do so ever? Time will tell!
                                      It is most shocking to see that the lawyers of West UP went on 6 months strike in 2001, 3 to 4 months strike in 2014-15, one month strike in 2010 and many weeks strike in 2009 as also later in 2012 and in subsequent years also still Centre refused to yield to the genuine and legitimate demand for a high court bench in West UP! Now again the lawyers of West UP are on strike for nearly 10 days, will hold relay hunger strike turn by turn, take out bike rally, meet Amit Shah who is BJP President, Yogi Adityanath among others which is really pathetic! Centre and State of UP should have themselves by now created a high court bench in West UP!
                                           No doubt, when Nehru can create a bench in Lucknow in 1948 then why can’t Yogi and Modi do the same seventy years later in 2018 in West UP when they know that it is the dire need of the hour with maximum rape, gang rape, murder, riots etc all happening most in West UP accounting for more than half of the total pending cases of UP as was testified by Justice Jaswant Singh Commission report also? But alas till now no action has been taken on this score! The lawyers of West UP are thus left with no option but to strike again and again as they are now doing from February 19 to 26 and as they did on February 15 also!
                                                Now the delegation of senior lawyers of West UP are also contemplating to meet RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat when he comes to Meerut on February 25! Let’s see the outcome now! Hope something different will emerge now! It is the litigants who will benefit the most if a bench is created here as they will be saved from the unnecessary trouble of travelling more than 700 km all the way to Allahabad!
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.

SANJEEV SIROHI

8:01 PM (1 hour ago)
to Edupedia
Legal Article
What Devendra Fadnavis Has Done Is Worth Emulating
                                                 It has to be conceded with grace that what Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has done by facilitating the setting up of a high court bench in Kolhapur in Western Maharashtra is really worth emulating! He has to be commended in no uncertain terms! He has been able to do what no UP CM has been able to do till now!
                                       This despite the fact that Justice Jaswant Singh Commission appointed by former PM late Mrs Indira Gandhi to look into where all benches are needed had recommended bench for Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Madurai in Tamil Nadu and Jalpaiguri in West Bengal which were all accepted and created soon but when it came to UP the recommendation to create a high court bench in Agra, Dehradun and Nainital was not accepted and not even a single bench was created in any of these places! Disgusting! Can on earth there be something more shameful than this? Most shameful!
                                           Needless to say, this really reflects the deepest ill feelings that those in power in Centre nurtured against West UP! That same saga is continuing till now! It is UP which has maximum pending cases numbering more than 10 lakh in high court and more than 50,000 in lower courts and still it has just one bench about 150 km away at Lucknow. But Maharashtra has less than one lakh pending cases and yet it already has 3 high court benches at Aurangabad, Nagpur and Panaji. Now a fourth bench at Kolhapur.
                                            It is UP which has maximum population more than 22 crore and Maharashtra has just 11 crore still Maharashtra has now 4 high court benches. As if this is not enough, Fadnavis had even categorically assured the setting up of a bench in Pune. He has said as reported in ‘The Indian Express’ dated October 25, 2015 that the state has requested the Bombay High Court to set up a bench each in Pune and Kolhapur.
                                            Going forward, he minced no words in making it absolutely clear while addressing a conference of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa that, “The demand of lawyers seeking a bench in Pune and Kolhapur is justified. The Cabinet has decided to approve this demand and has sent a request to the Bombay High Court to set up these benches.” For long, lawyers have been demanding a bench of the high court in Western Maharashtra and Fadnavis has supported the demand for a bench in both Pune and Kolhapur. A large number of cases pending in the high court are from Western Maharashtra and people from the region travel to Aurangabad, Nagpur and Mumbai to seek justice!    
                                             To put things in perspective, Fadnavis said that of the pending cases in the high court, at least 25 percent were from Western Maharashtra. Pune district alone accounts for 50 percent of the cases. This explains why the lawyers of Pune want a high court bench to be set up there.
                                    To be sure, Food and Civil Supplies Minister of Maharashtra – Girish Bapat has also said that the city of Pune will also get a circuit bench. He assured that the assurance given by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will not go in vain! Benches will come up in both Pune and Kolhapur.
                                          The Kolhapur bench of high court will have jurisdiction over 6 districts. These 6 districts are – Kolhapur, Solapur, Ratnagiri, Satara, Sangli and Sindhudurg. The lawyers from these districts had in 2013 refused to appear before the Magistrate and session courts till their demands were met. Thereafter, the High Court of Bombay had even issued them a show cause notice. But now after a long protracted struggle, the high court bench in Kolhapur is soon set to become a reality!
                                       Truly speaking, the Chief Minister of big states especially UP – Yogi Adityanath must take the right inspiration from what has been done in Maharashtra and should order at least 5 high court benches as Union Minister and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh had demanded earlier at Meerut, Agra, Varanasi, Jhansi and Gorakhpur. But even after nearly one year in office we are yet to see any action on this score! It would be the worst travesty of justice if UP despite having maximum MPs, maximum MLAs, maximum districts, maximum cities, maximum villages more than one lakh, maximum pending cases, maximum crime incidents to the extent that Ban ki moon who is former UN Secretary General had slammed it as “rape and crime capital of India” where nobody is safe has yet least benches!
                                     Truth be told, Fadnavis being a lawyer himself who did his 5 year LLB course from Government Law College, Nagpur in 1992 has made the people proud of him by approving 2 benches at Pune and Kolhapur way back in 2015! But what about Yogi Adityanath? Even in 2018 we are yet to see him assuring the setting up of even a single high court bench not just in West UP but in any part of UP! Is this fair?
                                           To put things in perspective, the Kolhapur District Bar Association President Advocate Rajendra Chavan has said that the pendency for the six districts is over 60,000 cases and that litigants residing in remote areas of Kolhapur cannot come back home on the same day if their case is listed before the high court in Bombay. But the situation in West UP is much worse where the litigants of 26 districts of West UP are compelled to travel more than 700-800 km all  the way to Allahabad as there is no bench in West UP in 2018. The distance from Kolhapur to high court bench in Panaji is just 206 km! Not just this the pending cases of West UP accounts for more than half of total pending cases of UP and Kolhapur is just no patch to West UP in terms of number of pending cases still bench has been approved for Kolhapur with lawyers there distributing sweets and lawyers of West UP boycotting work not just on February 15 to protest this raw injustice but also calling for strike fromFebruary 19-26!
                                             The worst irony is that Lucknow has high court bench since July 1, 1948 but for West UP no bench even 70 years later in 2018! Karnataka has just about 6 crore population which is less than West UP population at 9 crore still Karnataka has a high court and 3 benches at Hubli, Dharwad and Gulbarga but West UP has not even a single high court bench! For just 4 and 8 districts of Dharwad and Gulbarga benches were created in 2008 first as circuit bench and then made full bench in 2012 but for West UP even in 2018 not a single bench! Disgusting!    
                                   Simply put, PWD Minister of Maharashtra Chandrakant Patil who is also the guardian minister for Kolhapur said that there are more than 25,000 cases from the district pending in the high court for which litigants go to Mumbai. The setting up of the circuit bench in Kolhapur is going to benefit the litigants as it will save their time and money! Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis while expressing his absolute happiness said that he hoped that the Bench will start functioning from next month!
                                            It takes great guts to do what Fadnavis has done. He has assured that a bench in Kolhapur starts operating soon which now will soon become a reality. He certainly deserves applause from all of us for his bold decision!
                                           He has also urged the Bombay High Court to set up a bench in Pune! How I wish our UP CM Yogi Adityanath too derives the inspiration from Fadnavis and follow suit as his landmark decision to create bench in Kolhapur is worth emulating!  But the billion dollar question is: Will Yogi do so ever? Time will tell!
                                      It is most shocking to see that the lawyers of West UP went on 6 months strike in 2001, 3 to 4 months strike in 2014-15, one month strike in 2010 and many weeks strike in 2009 as also later in 2012 and in subsequent years also still Centre refused to yield to the genuine and legitimate demand for a high court bench in West UP! Now again the lawyers of West UP are on strike for nearly 10 days, will hold relay hunger strike turn by turn, take out bike rally, meet Amit Shah who is BJP President, Yogi Adityanath among others which is really pathetic! Centre and State of UP should have themselves by now created a high court bench in West UP! Not just this, the lawyers of West UP even go on strike every Saturday since last more than 36 years from May 1981 till now and many times even on Wednesdays demanding the creation of bench!
No doubt, when Nehru can create a bench in Lucknow in 1948 then why can’t Yogi and Modi do the same seventy years later in 2018 in West UP when they know that it is the dire need of the hour with maximum rape, gang rape, murder, riots etc all happening most in West UP accounting for more than half of the total pending cases of UP as was testified by Justice Jaswant Singh Commission report also? But alas till now no action has been taken on this score! The lawyers of West UP are thus left with no option but to strike again and again as they are now doing from February 19 to 26 and as they did on February 15 also!
                                                Now the delegation of senior lawyers of West UP are also contemplating to meet RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat when he comes to Meerut on February 25! Let’s see the outcome now! Hope something different will emerge now! It is the litigants who will benefit the most if a bench is created here as they will be saved from the unnecessary trouble of travelling more than 700 km all the way to Allahabad!
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.