By Sanjeev Sirohi
Why is it that Lord Ram, for whom more than 12 lakh diyas are being lighted as a mark of respect in Ayodhya, is legally worthless? As the Centre very strongly feels that not just Ayodhya but any other Hindu holy city in UP are all legally worthless in the sense that not a single High Court Bench can be created anywhere in the whole of UP? Why is that from 1948 till 2021 Centre very strongly feels that only ‘Nawab City’, in other words, “Lucknow” is alone best suited for a High Court Bench where High Court Bench was created on July 1, 1948, by the then PM late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru just about 200 km away from Allahabad where High Court itself is located and all other cities no matter how holy they may be are legally worthless just not fit to be given a High Court Bench? Is this the way to bring about Ram Rajya? You tell me: Lord Ram stands for justice or injustice? No prizes for guessing the ostensible answer: Lord Ram stands for justice! Why then in UP where a grand Ram temple is being built has the least high court benches in India and why is it that the Centre has vowed never to allow even a single High Court Bench to come up in any nook and corner of UP except the “Nawab City” where the High Court Bench already exists? Is this the way to bring “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”?
Why is it that the “poorest of poor” as also women, girl victims, weak, persons suffering physical disabilities among others in West UP which has a population of more than 9 crore which is more than the population of several small states put together are all compared to travel most foolishly all the way more than 600 to 750 km on an average not even to “Nawab City” but even further to Allahabad to seek justice? But the people of “Nawab City” can’t travel just about 200 km away to Allahabad to get justice? Is this what Lord Ram stood for? Is this what his Ram Rajya stood for? Is Centre not making a complete mockery of Lord Ram and so also of other Hindu holy cities like Mathura in West UP famously known as Lord Krishna’s city and so also at Kashi or Varanasi which is known as Lord Shiva’s city among others? Most disgusting!
Should God worship Centre that please create a High Court Bench in other holy cities also other than “Nawab City” so that people of all religions can benefit equally? All Hindu Gods can give everything to their devotees except High Court Bench in UP as Centre is deadly opposed to it which alone explains that despite lawyers of more than 26 districts of West UP protesting since last more than six decades as pointed out in newspapers like “The Wire” is just not fit to be given a High Court Bench at any cost and under any circumstances! Even lawyers of Lord Krishna’s city that is Mathura in West UP keep striking repeatedly for High Court Bench for the last many decades but the Centre thinks that it is legally worthless just not fit to be given a High Court Bench under any circumstances! The same is the case with Meerut where the temple of Lord Augharnath (Kali Paltan) i.e., Lord Shiva’s temple exists among other holy cities!
None other than the eminent and senior lawyer and former Union Law Minister and former President of Supreme Court Bar Association thrice and so also former Additional Solicitor General of India – Kapil Sibal had himself recommended a High Court Bench in Meerut while he was Union Law Minister as was disclosed by another Union Law Minister RPN Singh but nearly a decade later we still see no Bench in Meerut. It is in Meerut that former UP CM – Sampoornanand had recommended a High Court Bench in 1955 but again Centre did not accept! Even former PM late Rajiv Gandhi wanted High Court Bench in Meerut but powerful ministers it is said dissuaded him from doing so!
We all know full well how very rightly the incumbent Chief Minister of UP – Yogi Adityanath had thundered with all might for a High Court Bench in UP in Gorakhpur which he represented as MP right inside Parliament in 1999 more than two decades back but even after completing nearly 5 years in office he is unable to create any High Court Bench in any nook and corner of UP other than the one at Lucknow! Not just this, the holiest cities of Hindus – Ayodhya, Kashi known also as Varanasi, and Mathura which is in West UP is considered by all parties who ruled in Centre as “totally worthless cities” just not fit to be given a High Court Bench under any circumstances! The net result is: The city famous by name of “Allah” in other words Allahabad has a High Court and the city famous by name of “Nawabs” has High Court Bench at Lucknow! That’s all!
Dr Manmohan Singh who has been labelled by many as “weak PM” had the astounding guts, gall, and gumption to create 2 more High Court Benches for Karnataka at Dharwad and Gulbarga for just 4 and 8 districts respectively in 2008 first as circuit benches and then in 2013 as full High Court Benches even though it is a different matter that the lawyers of West UP represented by the Chairman of the Central Action Committee set up in May 1981 to pursue the sacred cause of High Court Bench in West UP repeated met the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and so also other Congress leaders repeatedly and kept giving them memorandum but to no avail! As Congress did nothing so BJP also followed suit and till now, we see nothing happening except hearing empty promises which we have been hearing ever since BJP won for the first time in 2014. First former UP CM and incumbent Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that ensure that BJP wins in Centre which it did in 2014 and then again in 2019 and then it was said that makes us win in UP so that High Court Bench can be created which it did in 2017 yet nearly 5 years later we see no Bench coming up anywhere in any nook and corner of UP even though we repeatedly keep hearing tall promises of High Court Bench coming up soon in West UP since 2014 but more than seven years later it turned out to be a utopian dream and still again we are now hearing that Centre will consider it sympathetically and still let’s hope for the best. But I won’t be surprised if Rajnath Singh again assures people that make us win in the 2024 general elections and UP in 2022 then Bench will come up!
The incumbent PM Narendra Damodardas Modi has ensured that not a single High Court is approved anywhere not just in West UP but in any corner of UP even though it is UP which primarily decides which party will rule in Delhi! Modi ensured that for Telangana from where firebrand leader Asaduddin Owaisi and so also the incumbent CJI NV Ramana hails and which has just 3.5 crore population was promptly given High Court itself in 2014 when in June it was created as a separate state but for more than 9 crore people of West UP, it is just not prepared till now for even a single High Court Bench except repeated promises which we have been hearing since ages! The incumbent CM of UP – Yogi Adityanath had thundered with full might for a High Court Bench in Gorakhpur in 1999 while he was MP from there right inside Parliament yet more than 22 years later no action on the ground! But he cannot be blamed as it is the Centre which has to take the final call on this!
No amount of groundwork, no amount of development, no amount of projects, no amount of industries, no amount of any other programmes, and no amount of any other work done by BJP in UP in any other field can ever now ensure BJP’s win in UP as BJP has made it damn clear in its 5-year rule that, “It is deadly opposed to the creation of a High Court Bench anywhere in any hook and corner of UP except the one that is in the Nawab City named Lucknow created by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on July 1, 1948. In other words, BJP has proved itself to be a carbon copy of the Congress party in this regard which has lost all its significance in UP and which is now struggling severely for its mere survival!” Just changing the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj won’t change the ground reality. It is a proven fact that the High Court is still called Allahabad High Court and not Prayagraj High Court.
It is a matter of national disgrace that UP which keeps capturing the limelight for reasons of the crime of all kinds and all the wrong reasons even though it is an irrefutable fact that under the leadership of the incumbent CM Yogi Adityanath UP has progressed by leaps and bounds which one certainly cannot deny but why is it that it has just one High Court Bench only and that too just approximately 200 km away at the city famously called “Nawab City” in other words – Lucknow? Why is it that the people of “Nawab City” can’t travel just about 200 km to Allahabad where High Court is located and High Court Bench was created for them and adjoining 12 districts on July 1, 1948, but not anywhere else? If Lucknow is capital, then so also Bhopal is capital but it has neither High Court nor Bench! Similarly, Dispur is the capital of Assam but it has neither High Court nor Bench, Dehradun is the capital of Uttarakhand but it has no Bench or High Court and so is the case in many other states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Kerala, etc.! This worst injustice happened right under the nose of the Supreme Court for more than 50 years yet it just watched everything like a hapless, helpless, and blind spectator!
As if this was not enough, when former PM Mrs Indira Gandhi appointed Justice Jaswant Singh Commission headed by former Supreme Court Judge – Justice Jaswant Singh who was also the former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court to look into where all High Court Benches should be created and it recommended 3 High Court Benches for undivided UP – one at Agra and 2 circuit benches at Nainital and Dehradun but Centre most stupidly, most shamelessly and most senselessly decided not to create even a single High Court Bench for UP anywhere even though it happily created a High Court Bench at Aurangabad in Maharashtra which already had two High Court Benches at Nagpur and Panaji, and so also Benches were created at Madurai in Tamil Nadu and Jalpaiguri in West Bengal! Why did the Supreme Court keep watching everything like a helpless spectator? Why do the people of hilly areas have to travel foolishly all the way more than a thousand kilometers to Allahabad as all the districts were attached with Allahabad and not with Lucknow which was still closer even though not so close? How can the judiciary and that too Apex Court watch everything like a mute spectator? It could have taken Suo motu notice just like it has done now after the Lakhimpur Kheri incident but it never did! This was primarily because the Congress party has a reputation of not doing anything wrong and that is what our Supreme Court and so also all our eminent and senior jurists like Nani Palkhiwala, Soli J Sorabjee, Ram Jethmalani, Shanti Bhushan, Harish Salve, Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Prashant Bhushan, and others thought due to which no one ever filed a PIL to ensure that a High Court Bench is created at least in hilly regions where people had to travel more than a thousand kilometers all the way shamelessly, senselessly and stupidly to Allahabad for more than 50 years after independence until it was given High Court itself at Nainital in November 2000 when people agitated very strongly for a separate State and more than 9 crore people since last 74 years till now up to Allahabad to get justice!
Why the high court and benches of 8 states and above all even Lahore high court in Pakistan is nearer to West UP as compared to Allahabad? Why were the lawyers of West UP compelled to go on strike for 6 months from July to December 2001 demanding the creation of a high court bench in West UP yet no action was taken? Can anyone in the Centre even dream as to how the lawyers managed to strike for so long thereby depriving themselves of livelihood for a full 6 months and how they struggled to meet their daily end yet no bench was created? The then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had himself thundered for a High Court Bench in West UP as Opposition party leader right inside Parliament in 1986 but as PM he dared not do what Congress didn’t and so 6 months strike by lawyers of West UP yielded nothing, nothing, and just nothing!
Even in 2014-15, the lawyers of West UP went on strike for 3 to 4 months and even boycotted Lok Adalats and protested the whole night outside the court but again Centre just gave empty assurances but nothing materialized on the ground! Even in 2009, the lawyers of West UP went on strike and even called a bandh in the whole of West UP to protest the decision to not create a single bench here! Even in 2010, the lawyers of West UP went on strike for a month demanding a bench. The saga of repeated strikes is continuing till 2021 and lawyers recently also were on strike for 5 days and yet Centre just glosses over everything which is so shocking that cannot be described in words! Now lawyers have even started striking on Wednesday apart from Saturday! Recently that is on October 20, 2021, the lawyers of not just West UP but the whole of UP are on strike as a senior lawyer named Bhupendra Singh was killed right inside district court premises in Shahjahanpur, and the Bar Council of India directs UP Bar Council to withdraw its call for court boycott as strikes by advocates are considered illegal by Supreme Court and will further complicate the situation! Still Centre is caring a damn which will only serve in ensuring BJP’s phenomenal defeat which will leave it shell shocked just like it happened after West Bengal results were out!
To say the least: Why a high court bench at Port Blair for just 3 lakh people, a high court for just 6 lakh people of Sikkim, for just a few lakhs of people in Manipur, Meghalaya, and Tripura as also in many other smaller states? Why a high court now for Uttarakhand since 2000 for just 88 lakh people but not even a bench for more than 9 crore people of West UP? Why such a raw and third-rated treatment for them?
It must be stated rather disconcertingly that it is India’s utter misfortune that UP which has the maximum population more than 24 crore as Yogi Adityanath who is UP CM keeps proudly declaring time and again which is more than the population of many countries including Pakistan whose population is 22 crore, has maximum villages more than one lakh whereas in other states the number of villages don’t exceed 5000 or 6000 at the most, has maximum pending cases about 10 lakh cases as per official figures in High Court and Bench whereas other states like Karnataka which has 3 high court Benches, Maharashtra which has 3 high court Benches, Assam which has 4 high court benches, Madhya Pradesh which has two etc. even though they have less than 1 lakh pending cases or just 1 lakh, UP has maximum districts 75 whereas other states have just about 25 or 30 on an average, UP has maximum MPs, maximum MLAs, maximum Mayors, maximum towns, maximum pending cases in lower courts about to touch one crore pending cases whereas other states have comparatively much lesser figures, UP has given maximum PM to India including the incumbent Narendra Modi who is MP from Varanasi, maximum poverty, maximum crime, maximum riots, maximum killings, maximum rape, assault and other crimes against women, etc. and is one of the biggest states of India yet has just one high court bench created way back in 1948 on July 1 at Lucknow which is just about 200 km away from Allahabad where the high court itself is located! Seventy-three years have lapsed but till now in October 2021 no bench has been created in any other part of UP even though the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had slammed UP as the “rape and crime capital of India”! All true Indians must hang their heads in shame at this despicable act!
All Benches in India must be disbanded right now itself if West UP and UP cannot have more High Court Benches! How can CJI and Apex Court keep looking just the other way and why can’t it take Suo motu cognizance on this also just like it took recently on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident? The Supreme Court has grievously erred on this in the last 74 years of independence!
It is most shocking that UP which is among the largest States, has maximum population – more than 24 crore, maximum districts – 75, maximum constituencies – 80, maximum MPs – 80, maximum MLAs – 404, maximum PM including Narendra Modi who represents Varanasi as an MP, maximum pending cases – more than 10 lakh and here too West UP accounts for more than half of pending cases as noted by Justice Jaswant Commission about 57%, maximum cases in lower courts about to touch 1 crore and more than 97 lakh right now, maximum Judges both in High Court – 160 and also in lower courts, maximum vacancies of Judges both in High Court and also in lower courts, maximum members in UP Bar Council more than 1 lakh and which is also the largest Bar Council in the world as claimed in the website itself of UP Bar Council yet the former Chairman of UP Bar Council – Darvesh Yadav who was the first woman to get appointed to this post was murdered cold blooded right in court premises in Agra which is again in West UP on June 12, 2019 by pumping bullets on her head and stomach, maximum poverty, maximum villages more than one lakh the exact number being 107040, maximum gram panchayats at 74626, maximum fake encounters killings, maximum custody killings, maximum dowry cases, maximum bride burning cases, maximum cases of human rights violations, maximum robberies, maximum dacoities, maximum undertrials, maximum cases of crime, loot, arson and riots and here too West UP tops with Saharanpur riots, Meerut riots, Muzaffarnagar riots tarnishing our international reputation to the extent that former UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon termed UP as “crime and rape capital” of India and what not yet Centre till now end of 2020 from 1948 when a bench was created in Lucknow which is so close to Allahabad is not prepared to create even a single bench for not just West UP but for the entire UP? The area of West UP is 98,933 square km and accounts for 33.61 percent of the total area of UP and has 26 districts yet no bench but Lucknow with just 62,363 square km and 12 districts has a bench! Allahabad High Court is the biggest High Court in the whole of Asia as was claimed by Yogi Adityanath and also is one of oldest High Court yet has least Bench just one and very near to Allahabad which is nothing but most senseless, shameless and stupid decision perpetuated since independence and not rectified till now!
Why is it that the people of West UP of more than 22 districts foolishly were compelled and are still compelled most senselessly, shamelessly, and stupidly to travel to Allahabad which is far away even from Lucknow where the High Court Bench is located and averages 600 to 700 km on an average? Most shamefully and most disgracefully, why no one cares for the poorest of poor, women and infirm and physically handicapped people who can’t travel so far easily and Centre is most happy by inaugurating an international airport at Kushinagar which is a very good thing but why so miserly on High Court Bench? Just because Congress never did anything on this?
It cannot be lightly dismissed that none other than the former CJI Ranjan Gogoi while in office as CJI had categorically appreciated the dire need of a High Court Bench in West UP when a woman lawyer named KL Chitra raised this burning issue in her PIL but Gogoi made it clear that it was for the Centre to take the final call on this! But Centre led by PM Narendra Damodardas Modi is very firm that what Jawaharlal Nehru did in 1948 to allot Bench only for “Nawab City” should be always maintained and in his 7 years he has proudly done that about which I feel most ashamed as the most historic recommendations of 230th report of Law Commission recommended creation of more Benches have been thrown in the dustbin! This is despite the irrefutable fact that BJP tall leaders like Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister like Gen VK Singh among others have always reiterated their support for a Bench as the people of more than 22 districts is compelled to travel whole night and half-day to Allahabad most foolishly which is truly incomprehensible!
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Even the Supreme Court has no valid reason to justify this worst stupidity on earth! It is akin to what all the PMs have done from 1955 till 2021 that only Hindus have been banned from polygamy and not Muslims as my best friend Sageer Khan used to always lament which he said cannot be justified under any circumstances! He used to ask his Muslim brothers as I saw from 1993-95 that, “Are Hindus second graded citizens in India that they have been barred from marrying more than one and if they want to marry more than one, they have to first convert to Islam which is the worst crime even though earlier in British India, Mughal India and even earlier Hindus could marry as many as they liked? Muslims enjoy maximum liberty in India all over the world as can be seen from this but discriminating between Hindus and Muslims is most unfair and cannot be justified under any circumstances. Hindus are most tolerant and they have so quietly accepted all this but no PM can ever dare abolish polygamy among Muslims as they know that Muslims are not Hindus who will tolerate everything so quietly and humbly.” The same holds for High Court Benches also!
Why only Eastern UP has both High Court and a single Bench and West UP, Purvanchal and Bundelkhand have not even a single Bench anywhere! The Supreme Court and so also the CJI have not covered themselves with glory by leaving everything on Centre alone! The Supreme Court is final but it cannot always be infallible! It has grievously erred by not doing anything on this for the last nearly 75 years! Let’s fervently hope that better sense prevails on CJI NV Ramana who himself worships in Varanasi as we saw recently and Apex Court on this burning issue also as this will benefit directly most the poorest of poor, women, aged and the needy people who cannot afford to travel by plane!
Why is it that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had the indomitable courage to abolish both polygamy and polyandry for Hindus and both Hindu men and Hindu women were brought down to one in 1955 which was the best step after independence till now as it controlled the population of Hindus greatly even though Dr BR Ambedkar in his Hindu Code Bill favoured continuation of polygamy for Hindus and to be kept as a ground of divorce but Nehruji didn’t touch Muslims as the country was reeling under fresh wounds of partition and Centre wanted to assure Muslims that they will get everything in India without any discrimination! 74 years later we see triple talaq getting abolished in 2019 which was abolished in Pakistan in 1961 and still polygamy and Nikah Halala which are not good practices in Muslims as many Muslim scholars like Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan have themselves openly batted for its abolition but they are continuing as Congress did nothing on it! BJP is making some changes but on larger problems, it is just emulating Congress as we see on the most sensitive and most emotional High Court Bench issue in West UP, Bundelkhand, and other needy regions of UP like Purvanchal!
In conclusion, Jayant Chaudhary has certainly played the super masterstroke by promising 3 High Court Benches for UP which has hugely refreshed our lawyer’s community the most in UP but BJP is so overconfident that it feels that its ludicrous inaction in the last 5 years on High Court Bench issue will be taken for granted in UP and it will still win by spending on huge advertisement in different news channels and PM Modi extolling development work done in UP! This is where BJP is erring most grievously and PM Narendra Modi is instrumental most in paving the way for BJP’s worst defeat in UP by not approving a High Court Bench anywhere in UP other than the Nawab City where Pandit Nehru created a Bench in 1948! Even holy cities like Ayodhya, Kashi, and Mathura apart from Gorakhpur, etc. in UP are considered worthless legally by BJP’s central leadership for a High Court Bench in UP! This is what has exposed BJP in the eyes of people most! No power, not even God can ever now ensure BJP’s win anyhow or somehow in UP this time if no Bench is created till the elections are held next year in March 2022! Nothing else can ensure BJP’s win this time in UP! Only time will prove whether I am right or wrong on this!
Lord Ram stands for justice and yet in Ayodhya which is Lord Ram’s city we see no High Court Bench and same is true for Mathura in West UP which is Lord Krishna’s city yet no High Court Bench and even in the whole of UP we see just one Bench at Lucknow created rapidly by Pandit Nehru in 1948! All holy cities of Hindus like Ayodhya, Kashi, Mathura, and Gorakhpur are undoubtedly holy yet hapless, hopeless and helpless and so also legally worthless cities on Bench as Centre is just not ready to grant a High Court Bench anywhere else in UP! Centre has the guts, gall, and gumption to do away with Article 35A and Article 370 in J&K but on creation more High Court Benches in UP it has till now proved to be a carbon copy of Congress which means only “Nawab City” i.e., Lucknow is alone fit in the whole UP for High Court Bench! If this is what holy Hindu Gods teach their devotees then it is better to die than worship such hapless, helpless, and hopeless Hindu Gods in whose cities there is not even a single High Court Bench anywhere in UP!