Kolkata: The much-awaited Jalpaiguri circuit bench of Calcutta High Court is likely to be inaugurated in the second week of September, a senior officer of West Bengal government has said.
The circuit bench will be temporarily housed at the Jalpaiguri zilla parishad dak bungalow, which has been refurbished for the purpose, the officer told news agency PTI.
"The zilla parishad dak bungalow on Station Road is ready to house the Jalpaiguri circuit bench temporarily and the final inspection of the infrastructure there is also complete. We are expecting to inaugurate it in mid-September," he said.
The state administration is trying to fix the date for holding the inauguration programme of the circuit bench on September 10 and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to inaugurate it, the IAS officer said.
The Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya along with four other senior judges, state law minister Moloy Ghatak and state tourism minister Goutam Deb had made an inspection of the preparations at the dak bungalow last week.
"They appeared to be quite satisfied with the infrastructure of the building," the officer said. The senior judges would now submit a report on their inspection of the Jalpaiguri dak bungalow after which a full court decision would be taken.
The president would then make a formal notification for the setting up and inauguration of a circuit bench, the official said.
A petition was moved before the Calcutta High Court on July 26 questioning the propriety of the chief minister's announcement that its circuit bench at Jalpaiguri will be inaugurated on August 17.
The petitioner's lawyer had claimed before Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty that the chief minister of a state cannot make such an announcement on a decision which is to be taken by the high court itself. It is for a full court meeting of judges of the high court to make a decision on setting up of a circuit bench, the petitioner's counsel Bikash Bhattacharya had submitted.
After a full court decision, the president makes a formal notification for the setting up and inauguration of a circuit bench, he had claimed before Justice Chakraborty. 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 Jalpaiguri circuit bench of the Calcutta High Court is a long-standing demand of north Bengal residents.