CM sets two years’ target for HC completion

NAHARLAGUN, Aug 12: Chief Minister Pema Khandu laid the foundation stone for the high court (HC) building here in a ceremony on Sunday, and informed that the new HC would be built entirely from the state’s own resources, “without depending on the Centre.”
He also set the target of two years for its completion.
Calling it a historic day for the state, the chief minister in his address thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Law & Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to have “blessed the state with the temple of justice.”
“It’s a dream come true to have a high court building in the state after 18 years since the permanent bench of the Gauhati High Court in Itanagar was inaugurated here in the year 2000, exactly on this very day of 12 August. I am hopeful that justice delivery system will be smoothened and fast-tracked by the coming up of this high court building,” Pema said.
He added: “Since the separation of judiciary and executive in 2006, the state began its independent judiciary with its two district and sessions courts each at Yupia and Tezu. Today we have five additional district and sessions courts, which will be upgraded to district and sessions courts soon. Also the state has another seven CJM courts and 13 JMFC courts.”
The chief minister lauded the Gauhati HC chief justice for his advisory role in strengthening the justice delivery mechanism in the state with the creation of new courts and manpower in the last two years.
He said the performance graph of the government advocates in the last two years has also been rising with support from the advocate general of the state, and because of his personal intervention.
“For development to pick up pace, the state needs to have efficient justice delivery system and law and order in place,” said the chief minister, and added that since the last two years there has been remarkable improvement in law and order in the state.
He also said the bandh culture which affected the state earlier has almost come to a halt.
Enumerating other legal initiatives in the state, the CM said the district legal services authority created in 17 districts are giving their best performance by conducting lok adalats regularly and disposing of minor cases locally. About 4000 cases have been disposed of through lok adalats, he said.
Responding to a memorandum submitted by the Arunachal Bar Association, the chief minister assured that the demand for a separate and independent HC in Arunachal would be “taken up on high priority with the Centre.”
Gauhati HC Itanagar Permanent Bench Judge Arup Kumar Goswami said, “The Indian judiciary is presently at cross roads with increased institution of cases, mounting arrears, congestion in courts, range of cases and the sheer volume of cases spread all over the country. Our judiciary has carried a phenomenal burden which perhaps no other judiciary in the world had to shoulder. Though there may be some shortcomings but they have been able to fulfill the aspirations of the people.”
Goswami while appreciating the state’s customary justice delivery system said the rest of the world “draws inspiration from this part of the world where most disputes are resolved through customary laws.”
He requested the chief minister to ensure early establishment of district and sessions courts in five more districts and improve the infrastructure in the existing courts.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein conveyed the message of Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who assured that the Centre would provide full support to the state government in the matters of law and justice.
Gauhati HC Chief Justice Ajit Singh, Deputy Speaker Tumke Bagra, and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion. (CMO)