High Court of Manipur commences weeklong first anniversary

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Justice Mohapatra assures session courts for at least 3 hill districts

IMPHAL, March 23: Acting chief justice Laxmi Kanta Mohapatra of the Manipur High Court has assured that at least three different hills districts will have session courts as well as subordinate courts before he leaves Manipur.

He gave the assurance while inaugurating the weeklong first anniversary celebrations of the High Court of Manipur on Sunday.

Addressing the inaugural function as the chief guest, Laxmi Kanta Mohapatra said that the High Court of Manipur has only two judges at present which hinders it to exercise its full powers, adding that that they are unable to get the third judge appointed so far.

“For a high court to function properly, it requires co-operation from the bar in the judicial process. If the bar co-operates with us, the judgement can be shortened effectively. We face many cases out of which 70 percent are related to service matters, 4 to 6 percent to national security matters and 15 to 20 percent with civilian and criminal matters.”

He further cited that till date the five hill districts don’t have district and session courts. “The CrPC is the only court in the hills and now we plan to establish four more at the hill districts and a court of additional CJM at Jiribam very shortly.” He said that there will be no district or sub-divisional courts in the state without session courts within three years in the state.

Justice Nongmeikapam Koteshwar Singh who presided over the function said that the state has a spectacular High Court building now which needs to be maintained along with its existing infrastructure. He also added that the smooth functioning of the judiciary in the state and endeavours to give justice especially to those in the far flung areas should be given top priority.

He further said that the High Court of Manipur with the cooperation of the state government is planning to establish district and session courts in all the districts of the state for quick delivery of justice to any case across the state.

“After establishing a separate High Court of Manipur, the decision to set up a judiciary academy was taken in 2013. Now, the plot for the academy is allotted by the government and construction will soon start after funds for its construction is released. Legal aid clinics have been opened in various places of the state in large numbers.”

Advocate Khaidem Mani said that the full strength of the judges of our high court has to be adorned by four judges including the chief justice. But the court has only two judges: one, the chief justice and another, the puisne judge. For the last five months, the high court is functioning without a full-fledged or regular chief justice, he added.

“It is unprecedented in the judicial history of the country as justice delivery system is the bedrock of the rule of law which is considered to be the basic structure including an appropriate bench including intra-court appeal bench and for dealing with various civil, criminal, service and constitutional matters in full swing. It would not be possible to sustain rule of law in the state.”

He said that the All Manipur Bar Association has sent presentations to the President, Prime Minister and union law minister and Chief Justice of India for taking necessary steps to appoint two more judges of the High Court of Manipur as a gift to the people of Manipur as soon as possible.

The guest of honour of the function former Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court RK Manisana said that the Manipur Court was established in 1947 before merger to India with two annexure was made for Manipur.

After a prolong struggle in March 23, 2013, a separate High Court of Manipur was established in Manipur but unfortunately we have only two judges. He said at least three judges must be there in a full court and if there is no enough number of judges regularly the High Court won’t function properly.  Another guest of honour of the function, Apurba Kumar Sharma, Chairman, Executive Committee of the Bar Council of India, Delhi said that now the number of law students outstrips students from other disciplines in India.

The Bar Council of India, Delhi will provide monetary help for organising any law seminar in any state, he added.

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