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Hubli lawyers boycott court proceedings, stage protest

Staff Correspondent

Oppose setting up of Circuit Bench at WALMI complex



AGITATION INTENSIFIES: Members of the Hubli Bar Association staging a rasta roko on Thursday.

HUBLI: Protesting against the announcement of the State Government to establish the Circuit Bench of the Karnataka High Court at WALMI (Water and Land Management Institute) complex near Dharwad, lawyers in Hubli boycotted court proceedings on Thursday and staged a rasta roko.

Members of the Hubli Bar Association led by C.R. Patil, its president, staged a protest before the court complex and even locked up the tahsildar's office for some time.

The lawyers alleged that though Chief Justice of Karnataka N.K. Sodhi has rejected WALMI complex for setting up the Circuit Bench, the Law Minister is bent upon locating the Circuit Bench at WALMI, which will cause a lot of inconvenience to people.

Addressing protestors, Mr. Patil said Mr. Sodhi had said in a letter to the State Government that WALMI complex is not suitable for even temporarily locating the Circuit Bench.

In the letter, the Chief Justice had said that he agrees with the opinion of S.R. Naik, a member of the judges' committee constituted to inspect places identified to set up the Circuit Benches, that WALMI complex is not suitable to set up the Circuit Bench.

Letter

Mr. Patil also referred to the letter by the former Chief Justice N.K. Jain who, he said, had cited many structures, including the KSRP building situated between Hubli-Dharwad, as possible locations to set up the Circuit Bench. Though many places are available between Hubli and Dharwad which are convenient to set up the Circuit Bench, only the WALMI complex was shown to the judges' committee, he alleged.

Resolution

The Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation has also passed a resolution urging the State Government to set up the Circuit Bench somewhere in between Hubli and Dharwad. It will also be convenient to people if the Bench is set up in between the twin cities, he said.

The lawyers submitted a memorandum to the Hubli tahsildar to be forwarded to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam urging him to intervene in the matter to ensure that the Circuit Bench is established mid-way. between Hubli and Dharwad.

Welcomed

Meanwhile, the Dharwad Bar Association has welcomed the Government's announcement that the foundation stone for the building to house the Circuit Bench will be laid on the WALMI premises on August 14.

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