Why Should UP Have Least High Court Benches In India?
Let me begin on a bitter note by expressing my profuse disappointment and utmost disenchantment with the continuous and callous disregard of more than 19 crore people living in different parts of UP which is more than 10 small states put together by Centre since 1947 till 2019! Why is it that only Eastern UP has high court at Allahabad and a single bench at Lucknow and all the other regions like Western UP, Bundelkhand and Purvanchal etc have been completely disregarded and denied their legitimate share by giving them at least one high court bench? Why no government in Centre has ever taken any initiative to correct this worst injustice since 1947 till now in 2019? It is UP where maximum cases of crimes takes place and West UP alone owes for more than half of the total cases in UP and yet it has not even a single bench of high court even though Justice Jaswant Singh Commission headed by former Supreme Court Judge Jaswant Singh categorically recommended bench for West UP in early 1980s even though on its historic recommendations benches were created in Aurangabad in Maharashtra and Madurai in Tamil Nadu and other places!
Why when Sampoornanand recommended a high court bench to be created at Meerut in 1955 after more than 100 elected representatives met him and convinced him of the dire need of the same did Nehru refuse? Why when even other UP CM like ND Tiwari, Rajnath Singh and others recommended was bench not approved? Why when bench could be created at Lucknow in 1948 could a bench not be created at Meerut which is more than 700 km away? Why when Kapil Sibal wanted a high court bench to be created at Meerut when he was Union Law Minister as another Union Minister RPN Singh had disclosed but the then UP CM Akhilesh Yadav objected did Centre not listen to its own reputed and one of the most reputed jurist of India? Why Centre said that the recommendation made by Law Commission in its fourth report in 1955 recommended against creating more benches and so West UP could not be given a bench conveniently overlooked everything when it came to other states and kept on creating benches there and also overlooked that the Law Commission in its 230th report in 2009 recommended creation of more benches yet West UP and other parts of UP like Bundelkhand were overlooked for benches?
If Lucknow is capital then so are Bhopal which is capital of Madhya Pradesh, Dehradun which is capital of Uttarakhand, Bhubaneshwar which is capital of Odisha, Dispur which is capital of Assam, Raipur which is capital of Chhattisgarh and Thiruvanathapuram which is capital of Kerala yet they have neither high court nor bench! Also, Lucknow’s area jurisdiction is just 62,00 square km and that of West UP is 98,933 square km! The number of districts which come under the jurisdiction of Lucknow bench is just 12 and that of West UP is 26! The population of districts under Lucknow jurisdiction stands nowhere as compared to West UP whose population at more than 9 crore is more than any other state except UP of which it is itself a part, Maharashtra and Bihar and here too areawise West UP has 98,933 square km and that of Bihar is just 94,000 square km!
Why can’t Centre take serious steps to address this cancerous problem root and branch and not just resort to baby steps and bandaid measures like reducing time limit to reach Delhi by spending many crores of rupees on creating 14 lane national highways but doing nothing at all to create more benches anywhere in UP so that people are not compelled to travel whole night to Allahabad? Why can’t this be done? Is it such a big deal? Certainly not! Only political will needed! What a crying shame that Yogi Adityanath government has the ability to bear Rs 36,000-crore for construction of 600 km Ganga Expressway for better connectivity of Allahabad with western districts of the state and which will be the longest expressway in the world but it can’t spare just few crores for creating a high court bench in West UP for which people numbering more than 9 crore are ready to bear the expenses also!
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.