Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has refuted the assertion made by his Punjab counterpart Parkash Singh Badal that Haryana could not seek a separate High Court for Haryana in Chandigarh.

In a statement, Mr. Hooda said that the people of Haryana were being denied their Constitutional right to have a separate High Court. “States such as Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand, which have come much later in existence as compared to Haryana have already set up their respective High Courts,’’ he said, adding that the matter of formation of a separate High Court for Haryana in Chandigarh was pending with the Union Government as an amendment to the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, was required to be carried out to create a separate Haryana High Court in the State capital.

He further asserted that the Centre was competent to carry out any change into the Act for setting up a separate High Court for Haryana.

He said there was no legal hitch in setting up a separate High Court for Haryana in Chandigarh as the State legislature is also located in Chandigarh only. He also pointed out that if the High Court for Haryana was to be located in the territory of Haryana then the same logic should apply to Punjab as well.

The Assembly and Secretariat buildings in Chandigarh are also bifurcated between Punjab and Haryana and the arrangement is working very well. On the same analogy, the present High Court building in Chandigarh could be bifurcated between Punjab and Haryana, he added.

Mr. Hooda said a separate High Court for Haryana could be conveniently set up in Chandigarh in the existing building of the Punjab and Haryana High Court by allocating to Haryana 40 per cent of the premises along with judges appointed against the quota of Haryana State. Similarly, the other staff could also be bifurcated.

He urged Mr. Badal to treat Haryana as a younger brother instead of depriving it of its legitimate rights in the capital city of Chandigarh.