Calcutta HC Bench Now In Jalpaiguri: Jurisdiction Over Five Northern Districts In West Bengal Including Darjeeling

Calcutta HC Bench Now In Jalpaiguri: Jurisdiction Over Five Northern Districts In West Bengal Including Darjeeling  Calcutta High Court Building. (Subhankar Chakraborty/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Calcultta High Court (HC) Chief Justice Biswanath Somadder unveiled a plaque marking the operationalisation of the HC bench at Jalpaiguri on Saturday (9 March), reports The Hindu.

West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, among others were present at the function.

Reports suggests that both the Centre and the State had been engaged in a bitter rivalry over the past few years over the fate of the Bench in Jalpaiguri.

West Bengal CM Mamta Banerjee had laid its foundation stone in 2012, but it was only on 8 February this year that Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the facility. Banerjee, however, claimed that her government, as well as the high court, were kept out of the loop.

“There have been some struggles along the way, but I don’t want to fuel any controversy about it. All’s well that ends well,” Banerjee was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

The new Bench will have jurisdiction over five north Bengal districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Cooch Behar, Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri.

Acting Chief Justice Somadder and three other judges will hear matters at the Jalpaiguri Circuit Bench, and the hearing would begin at the Jalpaiguri Zilla Parishad bungalow till a new building comes up.

More than 10 per cent of Bengal’s almost 10 crore people reside in the area, and they had to travel to Kolkata, about 600 km away, for “every tiny issue or dispute”, said Tanmay Mallick, a Siliguri resident, as reported by The Hindu. The Circuit Bench will stop the ordeal, he said.