Special Correspondent

Achuthanandan, Vijayakumar call on Governor

All-party delegation to meet President

LDF government supports proposal for Bench

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Governor R.L. Bhatia has promised the State government that he would apprise the President about the demand for establishment of a Bench of the Kerala High Court in Thiruvananthapuram, Law Minister M. Vijayakumar has said.

Mr. Vijayakumar told a news conference on Wednesday, after Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan and he called on the Governor to urge him to intercede in the matter, that the Governor had assured him that he would recommend establishment of the Bench in the capital.

The Law Minister said the Government also proposed to take an all-party delegation to Delhi to take up the issue with the President, the Prime Minister and the Union Law Minister. Efforts were already on to secure an appointment with them as, ultimately, a decision in the matter has to be taken by the President on the advice of the Union Cabinet.

The demand for a High Court Bench in Thiruvananthapuram has a long history. The State’s demand was for a permanent Bench of the High Court with separate registry and filing powers. The seat of the High court of the State of Travancore was at Thiruvananthapuram. It continued to be here even after formation of the State and ceased to exist only after the High court abolished it in 1958. The Kerala Assembly had unanimously passed two resolutions in 1958 and 2004 for establishment of the Bench at Thiruvananthapuram, he recalled.

Mr. Vijayakumar pointed out that the State Government could not turn a blind eye to the agitation now being waged under the leadership of an action council to press for the establishment the High Court Bench in the capital. The LDF government was fully in favour of the proposal and this should be clear from the fact that Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac had earmarked Rs. 50 lakh in the 2008-’09 Budget for setting up the High Court Bench, he added.