Thousands of lawyers in over 15 western Uttar Pradesh districts, including Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar, have gone on a three-day strike demanding a bench of Allahabad High Court in the region.
Lawyers in the region have been demanding a separate bench since 1981 and had struck work for months in 1981 and 2001.
“This time, the strike will be more comprehensive with the support of local trade associations, gram panchayats and other associations,” Ghaziabad Bar Association president S.D. Tyagi said.
The three-day strike will end on September 17 with a total ‘bandh’ in various cities, association office-bearers said.
Last month, Ram Saran Sharma, a senior advocate from Ghaziabad, raised slogans from the visitors’ bench in the Lok Sabha in support of the demand.
“The UP government has been spending public money on statues while litigants and lawyers in western UP are facing hardships and spending considerable time and money for even a day’s hearing,” Sharma said.
“None of the successive state governments, even after assurances, has helped our cause,” Sharma added.
Lawyers said an average of 10 cases from Ghaziabad and around 15 from Gautam Budh Nagar districts get transferred to the high court daily.
“Cases from West UP districts amount to over
50 per cent work in the Allahabad High Court. If a Bench is allowed in western UP, it would benefit litigants the most,” advocate Harpreet Singh said.
Fed up with recurring costs of travelling to Allahabad, litigants have supported the lawyers.
“The expenses of travelling to Allahabad run into thousands of rupees. A bench nearby would help a lot,” said Varun Garg, a litigant.
The lawyers argue that a bench is required considering the size of UP.
“Allahabad is over 500 km from most of the districts in Western UP. Neighbouring states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar either have a bench or high courts in close proximity,” a senior lawyer said.