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Rajnath Strongly Favours High Court Bench In West UP

Let me start by first and foremost openly and candidly admitting that Rajnath Singh who is the present Union Home Minister of India and also is the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh is the only ray or beacon of hope for more than 9 crore people living in West UP as also for the more than 22 crore people of West UP! I stay miles and miles away from politics and never pose trust in any politician very easily but in last few years if there is only and only one politician in whom my faith has grown by leaps and bounds and who has always and always consistently raised his voice for setting up a high court bench in West UP, it is none other than Rajnath Singh! This alone explains why he is among the very few politician whom I sincerely admire.

                                                 To be honest, Rajnath knows that the opposition lobby to the high court bench in West UP is very strong still he very strongly favours the setting up of a high court bench here. This is what makes him a politician who is completely different from the rest! It takes great guts to speak up the way Rajnath does in support of a high court bench in West UP knowing fully well how strong the opposition lobby is!

                                                    In the local Hindi newspapers of Hindustan and Amar Ujala which I read, it is very prominently published that Rajnath Singh is a strong votary of a high court bench in West UP! Rajnath himself candidly admits that, “High Court Bench in West UP must be established. The issue of Bench is a very old one. In this direction the government is fully working”. This was said by Rajnath Singh while meeting a three member delegation of UP High Court Bench Sthapna Janmanch at his house in New Delhi!

                                                          It is noteworthy to mention here that Rajnath Singh while meeting the delegation of lawyers from Agra also asked them that if a Bench of a High Court is created at some other place also other than Agra do they have any problem? The delegation of lawyers did not express any protest which clearly implies that the lawyers of Agra have no objection to a Bench being set up somewhere else also as long as a High Court Bench is set up in Agra! Chaudhary Ajay Singh who is the founder of the High Court Bench Sthapna Committee  told media that he had given a memorandum to Rajnath asking for setting up a Bench in Agra based on the recommendations of the Justice Jaswant Singh Commission report. He also revealed that Rajnath told them that the Central Government had asked for a report from the State Government in this regard for creating a Bench in West UP!

                                                   What I find most remarkable and laudable is Rajnath’s desire to create a Bench in other place also apart from Agra as is ostensible from his asking the lawyers that do they have any objections if a Bench is created somewhere else also apart from Agra! Even if one Bench is created any where, the record set way back on July 1, 1948 by Jawaharlal Nehru will stand broken! No true Indiaan can ever be proud of this dubious 70 year old record which no PM has ever dared to break! This is what makes Rajnath different from the rest of the leaders!

                                          How I wish that he was the Prime Minister of India but this does not discount the fact that even as Home Minister who is Number 2, he is doing a commendable job and one fondly hopes that he will inspire all other leaders to be like him! If 2 more Benches are created in UP at Agra and some other place as he wants, he would be doing what no politician has ever dared to do before! I am sure that Rajnath Singh means what he says and I can say this with confidence now that creation of benches in West UP is no more a chimera now but is all set to become a reality!   

                                               It may be recalled here that even as Chief Minister Rajnath Singh always supported the demand for the creation of a High Court Bench in West UP even though Centre never favoured it! Rajnath full knows that the litigants of West UP have to travel whole night many times without reservation more than 700-800 km all the way to Allahabad to attend court hearings as there is no Bench in West UP! Rajnath also knows that the High Court and Bench of 8 States are nearer to West UP as compared to Allahabad!

                                                Rajnath also knows that it is West UP that has maximum crime, maximum pending cases about 52% of the total pending cases of UP and maximum riots still it has not even a single Bench of High Court! Rajnath also knows that the population of West UP is more than any other state except UP of which it is a part, Maharashtra and Bihar and here too areawise the West UP with an area of 98,000 square km is more than Bihar with 94,000 square km! Rajnath also knows that Allahabad High Court is the biggest court in whole of Asia and yet it has just one Bench only which is just about 200 km away from Allahabad at Lucknow and no where else!

                                          Rajnath knows that Karnataka with just 6 crore population which is 3 crore less than West UP has not just high court but 3 benches also but West UP with more than 9 crore population has not even a single bench leave alone a high court by making it a separate state? Rajnath knows that Karnataka has not more than 2 lakh pending cases and West UP has more than 5 lakh pending cases still West UP has not even a single bench compelling litigants from West UP to travel whole night more than 700 km away often without reservation all the way to Allahabad and suffer untold miseries and Karnataka has a high court and 3 benches at Hubli, Dharwad and Gulbarga!

                                        Rajnath knows that a high court bench exists at Port Blair for just 3 lakh people, a high court for just 6 lakh people of Sikkim with about just 100 cases pending, for just few lakhs of people of people in Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura as also in many other smaller states! Rajnath knows that there are about 10  states whose population combined is not more than West UP and similarly their combined pending cases also is less than that of West UP and so it must have High Court Benches! Rajnath knows that a high court for Uttarakhand was created since 2000 for just 88 lakh people but not even a bench created for more than 9 crore people of West UP?

                                     Rajnath knows that Centre in 2018 decided to create a high court bench in Maharashtra which already had 3 benches at Panaji, Nagpur and Aurangabad by naming Kolhapur for just 6 districts of Kolhapur, Solapur, Ratnagiri, Satara, Sangli and Sindhudurg even though the number of pending cases stand nowhere near to West UP which is there at the top even in UP which owes for maximum pending cases among all states! Rajnath knows that Maharashtra has not more than one lakh pending cases but West UP alone has more than 5 lakh pending cases and UP has more than 10 lakh pending cases! Rajnath knows that former UN Secretary General Ban ki moon termed UP as “rape and crime capital of India” and not Maharashtra which has now 4 Benches, Assam which already had 4 Benches and Karnataka which has 3 Benches and so is the case with many other States!   

                                  Rajnath knows that it is very common for lawyers of West UP to go on strike for 6 months as they did in 2001 demanding the creation of a high court bench from July to December, for every Saturday since last 37 years from May 1981 till now and many times even on Wednesdays and many times for 3 to 4 months as they did in 2014-15 and many times for one month as they did in 2010 and many times for a week as they did in October 2017 as also in February 2018! Rajnath knows that it is in the interest of justice that Bench should have been created in West UP not in 2018 but in 1948 when a Bench was created in Lucknow there even though Lucknow has just 12 districts and West UP has 26 districts, Lucknow area is just 62,000 square km and of West UP is 98,0000 square km! Rajnath knows that Lucknow was given a Bench even though many other capital cities like Bhopal which is capital of MP, Bhubaneshwar which is capital of Odisha, Dehradun which is capital of Uttarakhand and Thiruvananthapuram which is capital of Kerala among others has neither High Court nor Bench!

                                 All said and done, West UP must have at least one Bench of High Court but what gladdens me to note is that Rajnath wants to see High Court Bench not just at Agra alone but also at other place which he has not hidden from anyone! Repeated riots like in Muzaffaarnagar, Saharanpur etc have given West UP a bad name and the growing crime incidents here not sparing even women and children further necessitates the creation of a High Court Bench here as early as possible! This time I also am optimistic unlike past! But still let’s wait and watch how things finally unfolds! Rajnath has emerged as only ray of hope for more than 9 crore people of West UP! I am sure he won’t disappoint them!

Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,

s/o Col BPS Sirohi,

A 82, Defence Enclave,

Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,

Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.