HC permanent benches in Dharwad, Gulbarga

HC permanent benches in Dharwad, Gulbarga

Weeks after the Congress came to power in Karnataka, the Centre on Tuesday approved upgrading two Karnataka High Court Circuit Benches — Dharwad and Gulbarga — as permanent benches.

The decision to turn the Dharwad and Gulbarga Circuit Benches to Permanent Benches was taken at the meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Labour Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge told Deccan Herald here.
The establishment of permanent Benches would facilitate better access for justice to litigants of the districts covered under the jurisdiction of the Dharwad and Gulbarga benches. The Principal Bench is at Banglaore.

Setting up permanent Benches was a long-pending demand of the people of these two regions, and it will help in speedy disposal of cases with consequent reduction in pendency in the High Court.

The decision came after requisite infrastructure facilities were created by the State government, said Kharge.

At present, judges are sitting at these two Circuit Benches on a rotational basis for one month. The creation of Permanent Benches would mean that judges will sit there on a permanent basis, and it will end inconvenience to them, advocates and litigants.
Circuit Benches at Dharwad and Gulbarga were set up in July, 2008. The state had a sanctioned a strength of 41 judges in 2008, which has been increased to 50 in November, 2009. Out of these, 6-7 judges sit at the Circuit Bench at Dharwad and 3-4 judges at the Circuit Bench at Gulbarga.

The State has sanctioned 190 positions of officials to work for the Dharwad Circuit Bench and 157 for the Gulbarga Circuit Bench.

The proposal to make the Circuit Benches permanent came to the Centre after being approved by the State government and Chief Justice of the High Court. The Dharwad bench will deal with cases from Bagalkot, Bellary, Belgaum, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Uttar Kannada and Koppal districts. The Gulbarga bench will take up the cases of Bidar, Bijapur, Gulbarga and Raichur districts. However, the decision also says that “the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court can order any case or class of cases arising in any such districts to be heard at Bangalore”.

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