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Himachal high court to have green bench

By: ML Verma

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh High court would constitute a separate green bench to dispose of cases related to environment, forest and mining, and it would be made functional from February 26, 2010.

Himachal Pradesh High Court Chief Justice, Joseph Kurian, during his interacting with media persons here today said that the green bench would comprise two judges from Himachal itself and it would be presided over by a senior judge from the Himalayan state. He said the basic purpose to set up this bench is to hear cases related to environment, forest and mining in continuity and consistently.

Pointing out that Himachal is the only state in the country where the high court does not have its own public relation organ, Justice Kurian assured that the public relation section would be made functional soon, where media would be able to avail information about judgments and other relevant matters. He said the HC has sent requisition to Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal to sanction the post of public relation officer and set up a section for media persons in the high court.

He said that Himachal Pradesh would be shortly placed among states that would have completely computerized networks in all courts. Responding to a query, Justice Kurian said all Judges of Himachal Pradesh have already made public their assets and it would be made annual feature. He said that ‘media trial of cases’ definitely effect the proceeding of cases in the court and it should not happen. He said that ‘Lok Adalats’ are best instrument to dispose of the pendancy of cases in the court as many types of cases, including partitions and land disputes, well suit to be settled in Lok Adalats.

He did not rule out setting up of Dharamsala bench of Himachal Pradesh High Court, but said that he could not comment on this issue right. He termed that Ministry of Law has emphasized three factors to set up such benches, including number of cases, pendancy of cases from the particular area and geographical location.

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