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Shifting High Court out of Nainital: SC stays Uttarakhand HC order

After staying the High Court's order, the court fixed the matter for further hearing after summer vacations on July 8, when it would be reopened for hearing.
shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 24 May 2024, 14:18 IST
Last Updated : 24 May 2024, 14:18 IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the May 8 order of the Uttarakhand High Court directing the State to find out an alternative place to relocate the High Court from current place at Nainital.

A bench of Justices P S Narasimha and Sanjay Karol suspended the HC order, while hearing an appeal filed by the Uttarakhand High Court Bar Association (UKHCBA).

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the state government, submitted that to set up the new benches are in Parliament's domain, but the High Court decision is like a referendum.

Senior advocate P B Suresh and advocate Vipin Nair appeared for the High Court Bar Association. "The decision is legally impermissible and is totally against the overall welfare of the State of Uttarakhand in as much as the High Court has failed to consider the legislative intent in placing the highest seat of the judiciary of the State at Nainital resulting in the passing of the order," the Bar Association's plea said.

The High Court had ordered the Chief Secretary of the state government to find out the best suitable land for establishment of High Court and for residential accommodation of judges, judicial officers, staff, court rooms, conference hall, chambers for at least 7,000 lawyers, canteen and parking space.

The High Court had also ordered the Chief Secretary that this entire exercise should be completed within a month and he should submit his report by June 7.

After staying the High Court's order, the court fixed the matter for further hearing after summer vacations on July 8, when it would be reopened for hearing.

The High Court had also ordered formation of a committee comprising Registrar General of Uttarakhand High Court, Principal Secretary, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs of State of Uttarakhand and Principal Secretary, Home of State of Uttarakhand, two Senio advocates, one member from Uttarakhand.

"Since opinion of practising lawyers is also very essential, therefore, Registrar General of this (HC) Court is directed to open a portal by May 14, 2024 and lawyers are free to give their choice by opting yes if they are interested for shifting of High Court and no if they are not interested by indicating their enrolment number, date and signature. They shall exercise their option by May 31, 2024 and this date will not be extended," the HC said.

The UKHCBA had then moved the Supreme Court against this order.

The HC in its order noted that when the Uttarakhand was created in 2000, the sanctioned strength of High Court was only three Judges. Within 20 years, the strength has gone to 11. For in the next 50 years, the strength is likely to go at least eight times. So within next 50 years, we need land for 80 Judges. Its capital was established at Dehradun temporarily and High Court was established in Nainital.

The HC pointed out that Nainital city is a well known tourist place and the people used to come here from different parts of the country and from abroad as well and traffic congestion is one of the biggest problem in the city.

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Published 24 May 2024, 14:18 IST

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