Tripura lawyers heading to New Delhi to demand high court

July 18th, 2008 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Agartala, July 18 (IANS) Lawmakers and lawyers from Tripura are planning to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj next month to demand the setting up of a high court in the state, officials said here Friday. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said a team comprising lawyers and legislators from all parties will head to New Delhi to meet central government officials.

The lawyers have also threatened to hold a demonstration in the national capital in the second week of August if the demand for a high court is not met.

Prasanta Paul, secretary of the Tripura High Court Bar Association, said: “Irrespective of ideology and political affiliation, all lawyers in Tripura have come together to spearhead a mass movement for a separate high court in the state.”

“Tripura has been demanding a full-fledged high court, but the centre has been ignoring the demand, despite the latter’s commitment in this regard before the Guwahati High Court,” Sarkar said.

“The union government submitted an affidavit before the Agartala bench of the Guwahati High Court in 1995, stating its intention of setting up a full-fledged high court in Tripura,” he added.

The affidavit was submitted in response to a writ petition filed by a lawyer.

At present, there are benches of the Guwahati High Court in the capitals of most northeastern states. However, Sikkim has a full-fledged high court in Gangtok.

Paul said: “Over 7,000 cases are pending in the Agartala bench of the Guwahati High Court and there are no judges in the seven lower courts in the state, depriving people of justice.”

“In a letter to the then governor of Assam and Meghalaya in March 25, 1987, the union law minister communicated the centre’s decision to set up separate high court in each of the seven northeastern states,” Sarkar told the state assembly.

Quoting the letter, Sarkar said that subject to formulation of a law in parliament for setting up of separate high courts, benches of Guwahati High Court were being established in each northeastern states.

“Since 1987, all the chief ministers have written letters to the centre, demanding a full-fledged high court but New Delhi has either ignored the demand or remained evasive,” he added.

According to the chief minister, the state government has the necessary infrastructure for a high court.

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