HCBA to abstain work from today

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IMPHAL, November 7: Members of the High Court Bar Association (HCBA), Manipur has resolved to abstain from attending court works at the Guahati High Court, Imphal Bench form November 8 onwards.

The resolve is taken decrying the process of deputation of Judges for the High Court of Manipur and in ignorance of the appeal laid down earlier by the HCBA.

Addressing a press conference at the office of the Bar, General Secretary of the Association Roshni Piba said that in 2012, the Parliament passed an Act for establishing separate High Courts for three northeast states inclusive of Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya.

The protocol for establishment of a High Court should be notified formally at first and the procedure includes deputation of a Chief Justice for the Court. However, there is no mention of the number of judges to be appointed in the norms but the provision to appoint judges is given.

He mentioned that earlier, the HCBA had demanded the deputation of seven judges for the High Court of Manipur and that they should be residents from the State. The matter was urged to the Union Law Minister Salman Khursid in August 2012 by representatives of the Bar in August last.

Following the assurance of the Minister, a cease work agitation launched by members of the HCBA in June 11 was suspended on July 9, 2012. He said that since then, the lawyers had remained optimistic that the demand would be reciprocated.

However, it came to the HCBA’s knowledge that a decision has been made for deputation of four judges for the High Court of Manipur inclusive of a Chief Justice. The judges would also be transferred from Gauhati High Court, Assam.

The visibly aggravated lawyers mentioned that such an action is against the interest of the State and it surmounts to a ‘step-motherly’ treatment from the concerned. It was mentioned that the lawyers of the State deserving judgeship has been deprived of their rights, and that there are no chances for eligible lawyers of elevating their status for decades more.

Decrying the arrangement, the HCBA had decided to re-launch the suspended agitation of abstaining from Court work from tomorrow onwards. The demands will be reiterated to the Prime Minister,Union Law Minister and the Chief Minister of the State.

Advocate Khaidem Mani added that, it is not practicable to depute four judges only for the High Court. The legal proceedings would be a hindrance to litigants, as the Supreme Court would be the only legally viable institution left to approach.He added that it is not feasible for the state litigants.

Mani mentioned that there are about 6000 pending cases in the Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench and has the highest number of pending cases next to Assam in the northeast.   

The said meeting was held at the office of the Bar under the chairmanship of president High Court Bar Association, N Kumarjit Singh.

An emergency meeting of executive members of the HCBA, presided by President N Kumarjit has resolved and demanded that the High Court of Manipur be established with the minimum of seven judges for enabling the public litigants to get redress of their grievances in a speedy and judicious manner.

Other resolution include that the new High Court of Manipur absorb two local Judges appointed in the Common Guahati High Court namely TNK Singh and Nongmeikapam Kotishwor, in case the absorption as Judges of the new High Court of Manipur is opted for. Another resolution is the demand that no other judges of the Common Gauhati High Court be absorbed as a Judge of the new High Court.

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