The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Friday while hearing a PIL seeking re-allocation of territorial jurisdiction between the two benches of the High Court at Prayagraj and Lucknow, issued notice to the Awadh Bar Association.
The Division Bench of Justices Ritu Raj Awasthi and Manish Mathur passed this order while hearing a PIL filed by Ashok Pandey (Petitioner In Person) & Ors.
The Petition stated that under the present system, cases from 60 Districts of UP fall under the jurisdiction of the Principal seat at Prayaraj whereas cases from only 15 districts are filed at Lucknow.
The Petition further stated that not only the litigants but even the public servants posted in these Districts are caused to suffer a lot when they are asked to come to Prayagraj to file some affidavit or to put their appearance in Court.
The Petitioners also submitted that the Public servants posted in Bareilly and Muradabad Mandal can reach to Lucknow to attend the Court case and can return to their place of posting on the same day and after reaching to their office, can perform the duties attached with their office whereas if they are to appear at Prayagraj, they are bound to leave the office one day before and will return back to the place of their posting on the next day or in the late night.
The Petition also challenges the applicability of the United Provinces’ High Court Amalgamation Order, 1948 and the Indian High Court’s Act, 1861, which declare that the principal seat of the High Court will be at Allahabad. It is argued that the Act of 1861 and the Order of 1948 ceased to operate after coming into force of the Indian Constitution in 1950.
The Court noted that ,”The grievance of the Petitioners which is that out of 75 Districts of the state of Uttar Pradesh, the territorial jurisdiction of 60 districts lies before the high court at Prayagraj and the High Court at Lucknow exercise jurisdiction over 15 Districts only.
Their grievance of the Petitioners is that out of 60 Districts, the cases arising from where are filed at Prayagraj, there are several such Districts the vehicle (Car, bus, train, bike etc) from which a person residing in these districts is going to file his case at Prayagraj passes through Lucknow, where a high Court in operative but has not empowered to accept their cases and to address and redress their grievance.”
The Court said that it would like the Association to express its views and address the Court on the above said issue.