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Battle lines are drawn here to reply yearlong neglect by the government!
Members of District Bar Association (DBA), Bhagalpur which has been fighting for setting up a proposed bench of High court here, however now would concentrated for a circuit bench here as the process of High court’s bench here seems lengthy and became compounded.
Meanwhile, DBA along with activists from different social organizations have decided to accelerate vigorous movements in protest against the alleged delay by the government in setting up a proposed High Court’s bench at Bhagalpur.
The lawyers and social activists alleged the government for ignoring the genuine demand like establishment of High Court’s bench at Bhagalpur.
Sonjay Modi, general secretary, DBA has alleged the government for indulging politics with Bhagalpur and its surrounding areas while announcing High Court’s bench in other places. “We are demanding for the bench here since many long time. Our demand is very genuine because people from Bhagalpur, other districts of eastern Bihar along with Seemanchal and Kosi region which are not less than 230-300 km distance from Patna, have to suffer lots when the poor people have to travel to Patna High court for their cases.
Dinesh Singh another member of DBA said that the lawyers would not tolerate any such injustice with Bhagalpur and would intensify agitational programmes. “We have lots of supports from the people here and we have decided to initiated step wise programmers here,” he disclosed.
Back ground history :
Earlier noted lawyer at Supreme court, New Delhi and an eminent social activist, Ashoka Kumar Thakur had initiated for setting up a proposed High court’s bench at Bhagalpur. He learnt to has started for taking appropriate legal steps against the delay.
A native of Bhagalpur, Thakur early in his memorandum to Salman Khurshid, union minister for law and justice, New Delhi on May 15, 2012, urged the minister to intervene for establishing the establishing the propped bench of the High court here for extending justice at door step, eradicate corruption, go in for social justice.
In the memorandum he sought the union law minister’s personal indulgence while mentioning the urgent need for setting up the bench of Patna High Court at Bhagalpur.
Thakur pointed that state chief minister, Nitish Kumar had shown interest on receiving his memorandum on January 24,2011 on the matter and quickly referred it to law department of the state government for examination.
The Secretary of law department, government of Bihar has sent the memorandum of Thakur with comments of the state government in July 2011, itself to the registrar general of the Patna High court to place the proposal before the chief justice of Patna High court for consent.
“I understand that the role of the state government is limited to the extent to obtain the view of the chief justice, Patna High court and thereafter take the state cabinet’s approval and send the matter to the law ministry of the government of India. I have not yet heard further what progress has been made so far. I don’t now what has made the delay in the progress in the matter which is pending before the chief justice, Patna hight court nearly a year,” he said.
Thakur pointed out that Bihar government had already enacted the Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009 and set up two courts each at Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur and the additional district and sessions judges no. 1 and no.2 respectively that have been empowered to conduct speed trial of the cases falling within the ambit and scope of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
“The special court at Bhagalpur has jurisdictions over all the districts of Bhagalpur, Munger, Purnea and Kosi divisions respectively. Though the Courts have started functioning from January 2011 but these courts cannot function properly, since cases are yet to be transferred from Patna. This is an excellent step to weed out corruption from Bihar. There is special public prosecutor for Court no.1 and for Court no2, so far has not been done neither all the cases which comes in the jurisdiction of Bhagalpur Special Vigilance Courts have been transferred so far. However, the State Government has approved the building plan and earmarked funds for the construction of nigilance courts etc at here in the existing court compound. The construction works are likely to start,” he pointed out. “It is well that the government has established such special courts but one from Bhagalpur once would have to go to Patna High court for appeal against the decision of any case at such special court. Than what is the need of such special court here?” Thakur asked further.
“The absence of the bench of High court of Patna at Bhagalpur is stumbling block for speedy disposal of cases among others covering the constitution, corporate, banking, cyber, economic offences, corruption etc. and other laws,” he pointed out.
Thakur claimed that earlier he had suggested Nitish Kumar for a suitable place of establishing the High Court Bench here . “The erstwhile Zamindar late Keshav Mohan Thakur of Barari Estate, Bhagalpur had donated his palatial house with extremely large compound to start Bhagalpur Engineering College with extra piece of land along with another house across the road was also given,” he pointed out.
According to him the houses were constructed during the British Raj with excellent architectural design. Engineering College got shifted from Barari to Sabour area in the late sixties and the buildings were given to start Polytechnic institute which also shifted to its own building, he said.
The Major portion of the above mentioned huge establishment has been given on monthly rent to the Weavers & Design developing Centre ( Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India) since 1970s and only on one portion, the Principal of ITI resides. The other building across the road having big compound is, in very bad shape like the main building, he pointed out.
“ Despite of fact that the Textile Ministry (GOI) has already been given big land by the Bihar government, where buildings have been constructed and sericulture activities is going on. But it is quite surprising as to why the above mentioned building the ITI continues to be on rent?” he asked.
Thakur in his written suggestion to Nitish Kumar, urged him to hand over the buildings to the law department for setting up High Court bench and other required functionaries in the two building. “These buildings are now vulnerable and being greedily eyed by the land/builder mafias. So, I think that the government is not going to face difficulty in so far as housing the High court bench is concerned,” he remarked.
Somnath Ghosh, a lawyer at Bhagalpur court said that the people of Bhagalpur would step up agitation against the delay of establishing the High court’s bench here. “We are always with Ashok Kumar Thakur and if required we are going to knock the door of justice against such delay of setting up the bench here,” he said.
Change in strategy :
Modi while on the otherhand said that since the matter became complicated and time taking, it would be more wise for setting of a circuit bench here.
According to him common people has to suffer due to the delay and having justice in many occasions became very costly as well as delayed. He said that BDBA has already started agitational programmes. “We have been demanding for a circuit bench at least here so that people could avail justice at least,” he said.
He said that DBA would take up agitational movements on regular intervals with active patronage from political parties and different social organizations and people from various walks of lives