Three northeastern states to get high courts by October
Agartala, May 17 (IANS) India's three northeastern states of Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya would get their own full-fledged high courts by October this year as the required amendment bill was passed by both houses of parliament, an official here said Thursday.
"With the passing of the necessary amendment bill by parliament, now the crucial and long-expected constitutional hurdles have been resolved before setting up of the separate high courts in three northeastern states of India," Tripura's Law Department Secretary Datamohan Jamatia told IANS.
The obligatory modification of the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971, the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012, was passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on May 11 and May 16 respectively, paving the way for creation of separate high courts in the three states.
"Now the amendment bill would go to the president for her assent," Jamatia said.
"It was expected that the president would give her customary approval to the bill by next month," said Jamatia.
"Setting up of separate high courts would help in quicker disposal of cases, save litigants' time and money, and fulfil a long-standing demand of these states. Administrative and developmental works have sometimes been hampered due to timely non-disposal of pending cases," Jamatia said.
Currently, six northeastern states of Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh have benches of the Guwahati High Court. Sikkim has a separate high court.
Under the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971, Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya became full-fledged states on Jan 21, 1972.
"In Tripura alone over 52,000 cases had been pending in different lower courts and 5,000 cases are awaiting disposal in the Agartala bench of the Guwahati High Court," Jamatia added.
He said the necessary infrastructures were ready in all the three states for the functioning of full-fledged high courts.
Lok Sabha member from Tripura Khagen Das, who had moved a private member's bill earlier for amending the necessary act to set up the high courts, said that he had met Home Minister P. Chidambaram and law minister Salman Khurshid in New Delhi a number of times to expedite the process.
"The 30 years long struggle for a separate high court in Tripura has finally yielded expected result," Rajya Sabha member from Tripura Jharna Das Baidya told IANS by phone from New Delhi.
"Following a series of mass movement, the Tripura assembly had first passed unanimous motion requesting the central government to set up a separate high court in 1987," Baidya said.
For quick disposal of pending cases, the Guwahati High Court had introduced in May last year video conference systems at its benches spread across six northeastern states.
What was then called Assam High Court was constituted April 5, 1948, and initially had its sittings in Shillong but shifted to Guwahati Aug 14, 1948. Shillong became capital of Meghalaya Jan 21, 1972.
It came to be known as the High Court of Assam and Nagaland on the constitution of the state of Nagaland Dec 1, 1963.
On the re-organisation of the northeastern region by the North-Eastern Area (Re-organisation) Act, 1971, a common high court was established for five northeastern states of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura - and the two erstwhile union territories (now full-fledged states) - Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh - and was named as the Guwahati High Court.
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