Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that preparations for the circuit bench of Calcutta high court at Jalpaiguri, a long standing demand of the local people, is nearing completion.
The circuit bench will initially take care of the north Bengal districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar, she said after laying the foundation stone of a new building of the Calcutta high court at Rajarhat New Town here.
“The demand for a circuit bench in North Bengal has been a demand of the people in those areas for the last 40 years,” she said. Ms Banerjee said that fresh appointments in the judiciary must be done soon to reduce pendency of cases before the courts.
“It will take years to get the backlog of cases cleared if new judges are appointed,” she said. “The central government should coordinate with the Supreme Court and the high courts to ensure appointment of new judges,” Ms Banerjee said. The chief minister said that the land for the new building of the high court at New Town was given for a token price of `1. “Despite the state government facing acute financial crisis with an annual debt servicing of `48,000 crore, we decided to give the land for `one only as a CSR activity,” Ms Banerjee said.
She said that land will also be provided for a new building of State Administrative Tribunal near the high court premises in New Town. Ms Banerjee and the then Chief Justice of Calcutta high court Justice J.N. Patel had laid the foundation stone for the circuit bench in September 2012 on 40 acres of land provided by the state government. The President’s nod is awaited for the inauguration of the circuit bench.