Why Should UP Have Least High Court Benches In India?

me begin on a bitter note by expressing my profuse disappointment and
utmost disenchantment with the continuous and callous disregard of more
than 19 crore people living in different parts of UP which is more than
10 small states put together by Centre since 1947 till 2019! Why is it
that only Eastern UP has high court at Allahabad and a single bench at
Lucknow and all the other regions like Western UP, Bundelkhand and
Purvanchal etc have been completely disregarded and denied their
legitimate share by giving them at least one high court bench? Why no
government in Centre has ever taken any initiative to correct this worst
injustice since 1947 till now in 2019? It is UP where maximum cases of
crimes takes place and West UP alone owes for more than half of the
total cases in UP and yet it has not even a single bench of high court
even though Justice Jaswant Singh Commission headed by former Supreme
Court Judge Jaswant Singh categorically recommended bench for West UP in
early 1980s even though on its historic  recommendations benches were
created in Aurangabad in Maharashtra and Madurai in Tamil Nadu and other

state has maximum districts in India – 75? UP! Which state sends
maximum MPs to Lok Sabha – 80? UP! Which state sends maximum MPs to
Rajya Sabha – 31? UP! Which state sends maximum members to Vidhan Sabha –
404? UP!
state sends maximum representation to Vidhan Parishad – 100? UP! Which
state elects maximum Mayors? Which state elects maximum representatives
at all levels? UP! Which state has maximum population which is more than
19 crore as per 2011 census even though in public rallies UP CM Yogi
Adityanath and PM Narendra Modi keep saying more than 22 crore? UP!
state has maximum villages more than one lakh even though no other
state has more than few thousand villages at the most? UP! Which state
has maximum poverty? UP! Which state has maximum cities which is more
than 700? UP!
state has maximum crime to the extent that former UN Secretary General
Ban ki moon had slammed UP as the “rape and crime capital of India”? UP!
Here too which part of UP owes for more than 52% of pending cases of UP
and yet has no high court bench? West UP! Which state has maximum
pending cases which is more than the cases of 10 states put together?
UP! Which state owes for maximum dowry deaths? UP! Which state owes for
maximum custodial deaths? UP! Which state has maximum pending cases in
lower courts more than 65 lakhs? UP!
state has maximum pending cases of communal violence and riots as we
saw in Muzaffarnagar in 2013, Meerut riots in 1988, Bareilly riots, Agra
riots etc all in Western part? UP! Which state has maximum pending
cases of rape, molestation, murder and other crimes against women? UP!
Which state has maximum strength of Judges both in high court at 160 and
in lower courts at 5000? UP! Which state has maximum vacancies of
Judges? UP! Which state has sent maximum PM which includes Narendra Modi
from Varanasi? UP!
larger point that I want to make here is this: Why is it that Allahabad
High Court tops among all states when it comes to the number of pending
cases which is more than 10 lakhs whereas most of other states have not
more than one lakh cases and still Centre is busy creating more and
more high court benches for them with latest at Jalpaiguri for just a
handful of districts!  Assam till a few years ago had 7 high court
benches but after Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura were given separate
high courts, it now stands reduced to 4! But Allahabad High Court which
is the biggest court not just in India but in whole of Asia with so vast
a jurisdiction and also one of the oldest high court in India has just
one! This is certainly most shameful!
even small states like Sikkim, Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur, etc with
just about 6 lakh population, 29 lakh , 36 lakh, 27 lakh have high
courts but West UP with more than 9 crore population has not even a
single bench of high court! Even Andaman and Nicobar islands with just 3
lakh population has bench but not West UP with more than 9 crore
just this, Centre has always ensured that this high court has maximum
vacancies of Judges which is highest in country with more than half of
seats which stands at 160 keep lying vacant! Is this fair? Is Centre not
aware that Allahabad High Court needs “special attention” and not
“special neglect”? Allahabad High Court is biggest court not just in
India but in whole of Asia with maximum High Court Judges and maximum
District Judges and also Judges at lower level still it has the least
bench in India – only one!
Centre not aware that Justice Jaswant Singh Commission had
categorically pointed out that West UP owes for about 57% of the total
pending cases which is more than half of the total pending cases in UP
still why its landmark recommendation to create a bench here to take
care of nearly 40 districts at Agra with circuit benches at Nainital and
Dehradun overlooked? Why not a single bench approved for UP? It must be
investigated by a retired CJI or a retired Judge of Supreme Court! 
when Sampoornanand recommended a high court bench to be created at
Meerut in 1955 after more than 100 elected representatives met him and
convinced him of the dire need of the same did Nehru refuse? Why when
even other UP CM like ND Tiwari, Rajnath Singh and others recommended
was bench not approved? Why when bench could be created at Lucknow in
1948 could a bench not be created at Meerut which is more than 700 km
away? Why when Kapil Sibal wanted a high court bench to be created at
Meerut when he was Union Law Minister as another Union Minister RPN
Singh had disclosed but the then UP CM Akhilesh Yadav objected did
Centre not listen to its own reputed and one of the most reputed jurist
of India?   Why Centre said that the recommendation made by Law
Commission in its fourth report in 1955 recommended against creating
more benches and so West UP could not be given a bench conveniently
overlooked everything when it came to other states and kept on creating
benches there and also overlooked that the Law Commission in its 230
th report
in 2009 recommended creation of more benches yet West UP and other
parts of UP like Bundelkhand were overlooked for benches?
Centre took no time to create 2 more high court benches for Karnataka
with just 6 crore population which is less than even West UP population
alone and which already had a bench at Hubli for just 4 and 8 districts
at Gulbarga and Dharwad respectively but for 26 districts and more than 9
crore people of West UP not a single bench was approved even though the
lawyers here keep going on strike as they did thrice like once in 2001
for 6 months from July to December and for 3 to 4 months as they did in
2014-15 and for one month as they did in 2010 and for many weeks as they
keep doing every year apart from the strikes on Saturdays for last 38
years and many times even on Wednesdays? Why Centre disregarded the most
commendable recommendation made by one of the most eminent jurist of
India – Soli J Sorabjee who as Attorney General in 2001had categorically
recommended that, “Centre is empowered to create a high court bench in
West UP without any recommendation from the Chief Justice or Chief
Minister or anyone else in this regard”? Why Centre even disregarded
what former Chairman of Supreme Court Bar Association BN Krishnamani
said that, “Only by the creation of a high court bench in any of the
districts in West UP will the people living there get real justice”?
Centre approves one more bench for Mumbai high court at Kolhapur for
just 6 districts which already had 3 benches at Panaji, Aurangabad and
Nagpur just recently in 2018 itself but cites 100 reasons for not
creating a single more bench for Allahabad High Court in any hook and
corner of UP leave alone West UP? Why Centre from 1947 till 2019 has
taken the stand that, “Ask anything for UP but not a high court bench as
only Lucknow deserves it”? What rubbish!  
Lucknow is capital then so are Bhopal which is capital of Madhya
Pradesh, Dehradun which is capital of Uttarakhand, Bhubaneshwar which is
capital of Odisha, Dispur which is capital of Assam, Raipur which is
capital of Chhattisgarh and Thiruvanathapuram which is capital of Kerala
yet they have neither high court nor bench! Also, Lucknow’s area
jurisdiction is just 62,00 square km and that of West UP is 98,933
square km! The number of districts which come under the jurisdiction of
Lucknow bench is just 12 and that of West UP is 26! The population of
districts under Lucknow jurisdiction stands nowhere as compared to West
UP whose population at more than 9 crore is more than any other state
except UP of which it is itself a part, Maharashtra and Bihar and here
too areawise West UP has 98,933 square km and that of Bihar is just
94,000 square km!   
catchy slogans like “speedy justice”, “justice at doorsteps” and “cheap
justice” not implemented for West UP and other remote areas of UP by
creating more benches here? Why Mayawati wanted high court itself for
West UP by recommending to Centre that it be made a separate state way
back in 1995 but Centre is not ready to concede even a bench for West
UP? Why is BJP a blind follower of Congress in this regard and till now
has ensured that not a single high court bench is created in any hook
and corner of UP except the one created already by Nehru 70 years ago in
1948 at Lucknow?  
despite the fact that former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had thundered in
Parliament way back in 1986 as Opposition Leader demanding the creation
of a High Court Bench in West UP and Yogi Adityanath who is now UP CM
also himself thundered while demanding for a High Court Bench at
Gorakhpur way back in 1998 right inside Parliament but 20 years later we
don’t see any High Court Bench anywhere being created in UP! One can
understand that Vajpayee didn’t enjoy majority but Modi has it but we
see no action forthcoming on this so far even though he is taking other
steps for UP like pompously inaugurating the 14 lane highway connecting
Delhi with Meerut and other districts of West UP in which many crores of
rupees have been spent which will reduce the time limit from Meerut to
Delhi from 2 hours to just 45 minutes which is commendable but what
about high court bench in West UP which is affecting the litigants of 26
districts most adversely due to which they are still compelled to
travel more than 700 km all the way to Allahabad whole night without
reservation many times and bear all sorts of inconveniences?  When will
action be taken on this score? Why can’t few crores be spared for
creating a bench in West UP and other needy areas of UP like in Jhansi
in Budelkhand and in Gorakhpur?
is not for nothing that Union Minister Satyapal Singh demanded in
Parliament the creation of 5 high court benches at Meerut, Agra, Jhansi,
Gorakhpur and Varanasi but the real tragedy is that his own PM is not
listening to him and not creating even one more bench anywhere else in
UP other than the one which already exists at Lucknow! Similarly many
other BJP MPs like former Union Minister Sanjeev Baliyan, Union Minister
Gen VK Singh, Mahesh Sharma and other MPs like Rajinder Agarwal keep
demanding benches but to no avail!
per the Section 51 of the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, the Centre
can create a high court bench in any of these 3 states – UP, Bihar and
J&K directly by bringing it up in Parliament. Centre does not need
any recommendation from State Government or the Chief Justice as has
been very wrongly propagated for many decades! What a national disgrace
that these very 3 states – Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Bihar
keep on grabbing the national news headlines for all the wrong reasons
as crime incidents keep multiplying very rapidly and what is worst is
Centre’s stupid and crazy determination to not allow a single more bench
in all these 3 states!
is incomprehensible why Centre can approve 3 or 4 or 5 benches for
peaceful states like Maharashtra, Karnataka among others but not more
than one for UP which has maximum pending cases which is more than 10
states put together! Allahabad High Court must be given its due honour
and it must have maximum high court benches and not minimum! Disband all
high court benches in India if Allahabad High Court cannot be given
more benches, West UP cannot be given a bench nor can Bundelkhand or
Gorakhpur (which is CM Yogi’s constituency and where BJP just recently
lost) for people living so far away who face maximum sufferings because
of this but which no PM has ever dared to address for reasons never
all-important issue directly affecting billions of litigants coming
from all sections of society is lying largely unattended and untreated
since many decades! But now not any longer! Allahabad High Court must
get its due by creating more benches for it! 
one is safe in UP! Even lawyers and those in police are themselves not
safe! Criminals know that it take ages for cases to be decided in UP as
UP has least benches in India and maximum pending cases in India! Former
UP High Court Chief Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale in a case involving
rape of few women on national highway in Bulandshahr in West UP rightly
said that there is total lawlessness in UP as compared to Maharashtra
where women can travel alone in night anywhere without any fear and this
I have also seen myself at Pune from where I did LLB but see the
difference that Maharashtra has four high court benches with latest at
Kolhapur for just 6 districts  and Pune is all set to get another as CM
Devendra Fadnavis has approved it for which we all must applaud him but
Centre must create benches in UP also! When Maharashtra can get benches
in no time then why Allahabad High Court in UP which has maximum pending
cases be denied its due share? Why in last more than 70 years has a
single bench more not been added for UP?
can’t Centre take serious steps to address this cancerous problem root
and branch and not just resort to baby steps and bandaid measures like
reducing time limit to reach Delhi by spending many crores of rupees on
creating 14 lane national highways but doing nothing at all to create
more benches anywhere in UP so that people are not compelled to travel
whole night to Allahabad? Why can’t this be done? Is it such a big deal?
Certainly not! Only political will needed! What a crying shame that
Yogi Adityanath government has the ability to bear Rs 36,000-crore for
construction of 600 km Ganga Expressway for better connectivity of
Allahabad with western districts of the state and which will be the
longest expressway in the world but it can’t spare just few crores for
creating a high court bench in West UP for which people numbering more
than 9 crore are ready to bear the expenses also!       
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.