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It is a dream come true for the people of Hyderabad-Karnataka

Special Correspondent

Circuit Bench in Gulbarga will help litigants in the region


The chronology
  • Agitation for circuit Bench inspired by Fazal Ali Commission report
  • Dharam Singh, S.R. Bommai launch signature campaign seeking circuit Bench in north Karnataka
  • Cabinet passes resolution in 1991 endorsing need to set up circuit Bench
  • Both Houses of legislature pass resolution in 1992 seeking permanent Bench
  • Efforts continue under successive Governments, S.M. Krishna, Dharam Singh lead delegations

    GULBARGA: The 50-year-long wait of the people of Hyderabad-Karnataka has come to an end with Karnataka High Court Chief Justice N.K. Sodhi laying the foundation stone for the building to house the circuit Bench of the High Court, on the outskirts of Gulbarga city here on Sunday.

    The building will come up on a 55-acre plot adjacent to the Gulbarga-Afzalpur State highway.

    Mr. Sodhi laid the foundation stone amidst thunderous applause from a packed audience comprising advocates and people from Gulbarga, Raichur and Bidar districts. Governor T.N. Chaturvedi; Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh; Deputy Chief Minister M.P. Prakash; Shivaraj Patil, member of the National Human Rights Commission; Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister H.K. Patil and a host of dignitaries from the region graced the occasion.

    Fazali Ali panel report

    The agitation demanding the establishment of a Bench of the High Court in Gulbarga by advocates and people of the region was based on the recommendations of the Fazal Ali Commission on

    Reorganisation of States, which had stated that the areas being merged with the parent States should be extended facilities enjoyed by them at the time of merger.

    The contention of the people of the region was that prior to the merger of Gulbarga, Raichur, Bidar and Koppal districts with the then Mysore State, all of them came under the High Court in Hyderabad, which was only 200 km away.

    However, after the merger in 1956, the people of Hyderabad-Karnataka came under the High Court in Bangalore, which is more than 800 km.

    The main players who echoed the sentiments of the people of the region, particularly advocates, were Mr. Dharam Singh and Water Resources Minister M. Mallikarjuna Kharge, who were themselves practising lawyers in the Gulbarga Bar Association at one point of time before foraying into politics.

    Dharam Singh praised

    Mr. Patil, in his welcome address, paid glowing tributes to the Chief Minister for his untiring efforts in getting the circuit Bench sanctioned to Gulbarga.

    Mr. Patil pointed out that in the Seventies, Mr. Singh and the former Chief Minister, S.R. Bommai, launched a signature campaign involving legislators of the Hyderabad-Karnataka and Mumbai-Karnataka region seeking the establishment of permanent Benches of the High Court in Gulbarga and Dharwad. D.K. Naiker and L.G. Havanur, former Law Ministers, also played a crucial role in espousing the cause of establishing the circuit Bench in north Karnataka, he added.

    Mr. Singh and Mr. Kharge were responsible for persuading the Cabinet to pass a resolution in 1991 to establish a permanent Bench of the High Court in north Karnataka when S. Bangarappa was the Chief Minister.

    In 1992, both the Houses of the legislature passed an unanimous resolution urging the High Court to establish a permanent Bench in north Karnataka.

    The efforts in this regard continued under successive governments and picked up momentum when S.M. Krishna became the Chief Minister.

    He led a delegation to the then Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, and submitted a memorandum demanding the setting up of a permanent Bench of the High Court in north Karnataka.

    After becoming the Chief Minister, Mr. Dharam Singh also took an all-party delegation to meet Mr. Sodhi seeking the establishment of the High Court Bench in Dharwad and Gulbarga.

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