Major Industries Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana pledged his support to the ongoing agitation for constitution of a High Court Bench between Guntur and Vijayawada during his brief interaction with the striking advocates at the District Court Complex here on Wednesday.
He claimed to have taken the issue to the Chief Minister's notice and promised to follow it up again at an appropriate forum.
The advocates had every right to fight for the HC Bench as it was in the interest of litigant public, he asserted.
Later, a large number of advocates took out a rally under the aegis of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) from the District Court to the Jinnah Tower Centre, where they submitted a memorandum to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi as a symbolic protest against the government's alleged negligence in setting up of the High Court Bench in this part of the State where the High Court itself had existed for almost three years from 1953.
JAC convener Samuel John, senior advocate Y. Koteswara Rao and others stated they were peacefully agitating for HC Bench, which was promised after the High Court was shifted from Guntur to Hyderabad consequent upon the formation of the Andhra Pradesh State.
The Bench was the desire and right of people of Coastal Andhra and they would not be content with mere assurances by the Government or MPs and MLAs.
The advocates staged protests throughout the district to press for their demand.
Advocates in Sattenapalli also demanded that a sub-court be set up in the town to cater to needs of the local people. The concept of a Bench was rooted in the principle that justice shall be administered on the doorstep of people.
Mines Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy and Ongole MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy expressed solidarity with the agitating advocates, who were on a relay fast to press for constituting a Bench of the High Court in the Andhra region.
The relay fast entered eighth day on Wednesday.
The Minister called on the fasting lawyers in front of the court complex and opined that Ongole, being the gateway to Rayalaseema would be an ideal place to locate the Bench of the High Court in south coastal Andhra Pradesh.
The MP, who spoke to the District Bar Association President A. Vivekananda, promised to take up their cause with the Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily and return with a positive message from New Delhi on October 15.
The MP felt that centrally-located Ongole would be best suited for setting up a Bench of the High Court, Mr Vivekananda told reporters on the sidelines.