Western UP lawyers’ protest for a separate bench reaches Delhi

Over 1,000 lawyers from courts across western Uttar Pradesh held a protest at Parliament Street on Wednesday, demanding a separate bench of the Allahabad High Court in the western part of the state.

Four days ago, lawyers from 17 western Uttar Pradesh districts had held a protest at the Hindon bridge in Ghaziabad, blocking traffic on NH-24 for several hours.

While one of the lawyers, Amit Jangala, had also threatened to immolate himself, police officers said no such incident had taken place.

The lawyers came to Delhi from across Uttar Pradesh in more than 30 buses and said the protest would intensify if their demands were not met.

"The last time we protested in Ghaziabad. On this occasion, we moved the protest to Delhi as the Centre has to take a decision in this regard. But the Centre has paid no heed to our demand so far," Amit Singhal, a lawyer from Meerut, said.

Lawyers said since all cases from the courts in western Uttar Pradesh such as Meerut, Ghaziabad and Bulandshahar go to Allahabad, it has an adverse impact on advocates and litigants.

"Litigants have to travel all the way to Allahabad and spend a lot on travel. Very often, they choose not to appeal because of the expense and the inconvenience involved. Further, since the High Court is far away, it affects professional growth of lawyers in these districts. The fact that there is no bench of the High Court for such a large area is simply unacceptable," Pankaj Gupta from Ghaziabad court said.

Police said the protest was peaceful.

"They broke through some of the barricades. But they cooperated when we asked them not to do so. Due to this, no untoward incident took place," a senior police officer said.

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