Northeast News – Slow pace of work and funds as Arunachal awaits High Court

by Guwahati_City


[ Chukhu Indu ]

ITANAGAR, 6 Apr: Union law & justice minister Kiren Rijiju has on 27 March stated that the Arunachal Pradesh government should take the initiative for a separate high court stating that there is no provision for a central fund for setting up one.

Rijiju also stated that for the establishment of the high court, the state government will have to provide infrastructure after which the union government will look at the possibility of setting up a high court.

According to the board displayed at the Itanagar permanent bench of Guwahati high court, Naharlagun construction of the high court building is underway and was inaugurated by chief minister Pema Khandu in August 2018.

The total cost of the project is Rs. 135.35 crores being executed by the public works department with Guwahati based M/s Ganapati Construction Company as the construction agency. Only Rs. 2 crore has been sanctioned this year, according to insiders.

The project is supposed to be completed by February 2024 within a period of 36 months, after the work has been started.

So far very little progress has been achieved as only 6 months of devoted work had been done.  Covid lockdown is being blamed for the delay.

PWD junior engineer Techi Luk, who is supervising the work, informed that currently 70 percent of the main court building is over however, the construction of the extended court building including the auditorium needs to get started, but unless the present high court is shifted, work cannot be expedited further. The current court building will have to make way for the new.

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While the construction is ongoing, the high court is supposed to temporarily shift to district sessions court in Yupia where renovation of the existing buildings is being carried out.

PWD Doimukh Division AE Khandu Wage informed that the work is under progress and renovation of the existing building will be ready by June this year. He said that the office of the district sessions judge should be first shifted to the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) office building in Yupia which is expected to be shifted by 15 April, and accordingly other works will be carried forward.

“It needs to be shifted so that the high court may be accommodated at the existing district sessions court,” he added.

Khandu also reasoned that due to the regular court proceedings, the works had to be stopped at times by the court because of noise disruption.  He also said that only on weekends the department is getting full days of work, thereby leading to delay in work completion and shifting.

He further said during the court’s ten days summer vacation in June work has to be carried out in full swing.

“We will try to complete the renovation and other remaining works which includes infrastructure for under trial prisoners that may take a month’s time,” he said.

PWD junior engineer Techi Luk is confident that they will be on time.

The Itanagar permanent bench of the Guwahati high court was inaugurated on 12 August 2000 by the then governor Arvind Dave. In 2013, the central government had in principle agreed to provide a separate high court to Arunachal Pradesh.

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While attending a joint conference of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts in New Delhi, the then chief minister Nabam Tuki had demanded for a separate high court to which the then union law minister Ashwini Kumar and the then chief justice of India Altamas Kabir had in unison agreed.



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