The non-existence of a high court bench in Dumka has snowballed into a major controversy in the run up to the 2014 parliamentary elections.
Prominent leaders are taking up the issue to lambast political opponents in a bid to gain public sympathy. Had successive state governments taken up the matter of constituting a high court bench in Dumka seriously, over 30,000 cases would not have been pending in the lower courts.
Now, senior leaders like JMM chief Sibu Soren, JVM(P) supremo Babulal Marandi and BJP candidate from Dumka Sunil Soren are engaged in a blame game.
Senior advocate and treasurer of Dumka Bar Association Manoj Kumar Sah said none of the leaders took up the matter seriously.
“More than 30,000 civil as well as criminal cases are pending in different lower courts. It is not possible for the poor to go to Jharkhand high court in Ranchi,” he added.
There are six districts in the Santhal Parganas — Dumka, Deoghar, Godda, Jamtara, Sahebganj and Pakur. “Not only people from Dumka, but the residents of other districts in the Santhal Parganas would be benefitted if the government takes steps for formation of a high court bench here,” Neraj Dixit, a senior advocate, said.
JMM chief Sibu Soren said he was serious about the formation of a high court bench here.
“I know that a lot of poor people cannot go to Ranchi to appeal against the decision of the lower courts. We are serious about the formation of a high court bench here. Land for the same has also been acquired. I promise if I win the elections, I would pursue the matter seriously,” Soren added.
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha Prajatantrik supremo Marandi criticised Soren for not taking any interest in this. He said during his tenure as the chief minister, he had ordered the constitution of a high court bench in Dumka. “The first Chief Justice of Jharkhand high court, justice Binod Kumar Gupta, and I had taken interest in forming a HC bench in Dumka. After my resignation as CM, nobody took any interest in this regard,” Marandi added.
BJP’s Sunil Soren blamed both Sibu and Marandi for not taking any interest. Sibu and his son Hemant never took any interest in this regard, he alleged.