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Campaign for High Court Bench moves into top gear

Special Correspondent

Chief Justice urged to reveal reason for rejecting proposal

Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar

FOR A CAUSE: A street play organised by the Federation of Residents’ Associations, Thiruvananthapuram in front of the Secretariat to demand a High Court Bench in the city. —

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The campaign for a High Court Bench in the State capital moved into top gear on Friday, with leaders of political parties across the spectrum coming together on a common platform to step up pressure.

The occasion was a dharna organised by the Federation of Residents’ Associations, Thiruvananthapuram (FRAT) in front of the Secretariat.

Inaugurating the dharna, Congress leader K. Karunakaran urged the Kerala Chief Justice to reveal the reason for turning down the proposal to establish a High Court Bench in the capital city. Highlighting the long-standing demand, he stressed the need to set aside political differences and exert pressure on the Union government.

Mr. Karunakaran said the legitimate demand for a Bench could no longer be brushed aside. “Any attempt to do so would go against popular demand.” He said he would take the initiative to raise the issue with Union Law Minister H.R. Bharadwaj.

Leaders who addressed the dharna demanded a notification to establish the High Court Bench. They also called for budgetary allocation for the project.

Thiruvananthapuram East MLA V. Sivankutty said it was up to the Centre to sanction the proposal to set up a High Court Bench in the city. The State government, he said, had completed all formalities.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State secretary M.T. Ramesh accused the State and Union governments of trying to hoodwink the public on the issue.

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Neelalohithadasan Nadar called on the Prime Minister or the Union Law Minister to convene a meeting of the Kerala Chief Justice, the Chief Minister and the state Law Minister to take a final decision.

Varkala Kahar, MLA, called on all mass organisations to stop the blame game and work in tandem to get the demand conceded. The former Mayor J. Chandra said it was unfortunate that a State with four international airports could not get a High Court Bench in the capital city.

Former MLA K. Mohankumar; BJP leader B.K. Sekhar; FRAT president Sasidharan Nair and secretary Paraniyam Devakumar addressed the dharna.

A street play titled ‘Thannillengil Pidichedukkum’ was organised at the venue. A mass memorandum signed by tens of thousands of city residents was also exhibited. FRAT leaders said the memorandum would be submitted to the President.

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