Separate HC to be a reality

Shillong, Jun 11 : The long-cherished dream of Meghalaya to have a separate High Court will finally be fulfilled, following presidential assent to the North Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Bill on June 7.

Along with the state, Manipur and Tripura, too, will have their own high courts. President Pratibha Patil signed the bill after it was passed in the Lok Sabha on May 11 and subsequently in the Rajya Sabha.

At present, Gauhati High Court has separate benches in Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

“It is a great victory for the people as a long-cherished dream has been fulfilled,” deputy chief minister Bindo M. Lanong, who is also the law minister, told The Telegraph.

He said a separate high court would relieve the burden on litigants, as they would no longer need to travel all the way to Guwahati. “A high court here would also reduce the time taken to dispose of cases. At present, Gauhati High Court is overburdened with litigations. With three separate courts, the principal bench will be relieved to a great extent,” Lanong said.

The deputy chief minister also said while the infrastructure for the court is ready; the state would have to wait for appointment of a chief justice, judges and judicial officers.

“It might take some time but hopefully within this year itself, the full-fledged high court will start functioning. I want to thank the Union ministry of law and justice for considering this long felt aspiration of people,” he said.