THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The LDF Government is now banking on the new Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court for a favourable decision on the State’s demand for a High Court Bench in Thiruvananthapuram.
A team led by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and including Law Minister M. Vijayakumar is likely to meet Justice S.R. Bannurmath, once he takes over as Chief Justice of the High Court, to press for the Bench, sources said.
The Government’s attempts to get the Bench sanctioned had received a setback after the Union Law Ministry, in a letter to the Chief Minister, had said that the High Court Chief Justice’s approval was a critical factor.
The emotionally-charged campaign for the Bench by various forums, including the Thiruvananthapuram Bar Association, is more than a year old now.
In reply to a submission in the Assembly on Tuesday, Law Minister M. Vijayakumar had said that the Centre had been well aware that Kerala’s problem was different one - the State was demanding not a new Bench, but the reinstatement of one.
Also, Section 51 of the State Reorganisation Act says that the Indian President has to issue the notification for setting up High Court benches. The President can issue the order after ‘consulting’ with the Governor and the Chief Justice of the State concerned.
The stand taken by the Centre was tantamount to betrayal, the Minister said.
Meantime, in a statement here, the Thiruvananthapuram Bar Association said that the issue will be made an election issue in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. The general body meeting of the Association set to meet on Friday will discuss the issue.