KARNATAKA

HC Bench: bandh total in Bijapur; partial in Koppal

BIJAPUR, SEPT. 6. People in the city and elsewhere in the district on Saturday observed a total bandh in support of their demand for a High Court Bench in Bijapur.The bandh was called by the newly formed Bijapur High Court Peetha Horata Samiti (BHCPHS) comprising the Bijapur Bar Association (BBA) and some non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Shops and business establishments, cinemas, hotels, schools and colleges, and petrol bunks remained closed. The APMC yard was deserted. Government and private buses, autorickshaws, and other vehicles were off the road. However, buses started plying at 2.30 p.m. with police security.

According to reports received here, the response to the bandh call in other towns in the district was good. The bandh was total in Sindagi, Basavanabagewadi, Indi, and Muddebihal. Advocates boycotted court proceedings and took out processions in these towns. People of hoblis such as Talikot, Nalvatwad, Chadchana, Nidagundi, Babaleshwar, and Kolhar also observed a total bandh.

People under the banner of BHCPHS took out a protest march in the city. The president of the BHCPHS, M.G. Mathpati, the former MP, M.B. Patil, the MLAs, Shivanand Patil and S.K. Bellubbi, the MLCs, B.G. Patil Halasangi and S.D. Karpoorimath, the President of zilla panchayat, Yashwantaraygouda Patil, and the President of the Bijapur City Municipal Council, Gajanan Choudhary, addressed a gathering near the Deputy Commissioner's office.

The leaders submitted a memorandum addressed to Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, to the Deputy Commissioner, G.M. Dhananjay.Meanwhile, members of the Bagalkot Bar Association, who were in favour of a Bench of the High Court in Hubli-Dharwad earlier, revised their decision and sought a Bench in Bagalkot.

Our Raichur Staff Correspondent writes:

The "Koppal bandh" called by the Koppal Bar Association seeking a Bench of the Karnataka High Court in Dharwad-Hubli today was partial.

The response to the bandh by business establishments in the town was lukewarm. However, only a few shops downed shutters. The NEKRTC buses and other vehicles plied as usual. Government offices, and schools and colleges remained open.Members of the association led by its president, Asif Ali, staged a dharna at Ashoka Circle. Later, they took out a procession and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Nagambika Devi. M.B. Diwatar, former MLA, Lalitha Agadi, President of the Koppal Town Municipal Council, and the Koppal Zilla Panchayat members, Motilal and Hiregoudar, and Peer Hussain of the district unit of the BJP Yuva Morcha participated in the dharna.

Road-roko in Hubli

Our Hubli Special Correspondent writes:

The agitation by lawyers demanding a Bench of the High Court in Hubli-Dharwad entered the 14th day today. They staged a road roko for some time. In Dharwad, the lawyers, who tried in vain to get government offices closed, later staged a road roko.

BBA to launch dharna

Our Belgaum Staff Correspondent writes:

The Belgaum Bar Association (BBA) today announced that it would not vacate the High Court premises once it launched a dharna there on September 12 until the Chief Justice, N.K. Jain, gave a "written'' assurance on setting up a High Court Bench in North Karnataka.

A resolution to this effect was adopted at a meeting presided over by the BBA president, S.S. Kivadasannavar, here.

The BBA reiterated that it would welcome the decision of the High Court on the location of the Bench anywhere in North Karnataka which, however, should be based on "merit".

Mr. Kivadsannavar clarified that the BBA did not ratify a resolution supporting the boycott of courts adopted at the meeting of Bar associations of North Karnataka held in Dharwad on Friday since it wanted to take a decision on the matter after consulting taluk Bar associations in the district.

It decided to continue boycott of court proceedings till September 12 when a delegation of Bar associations of North Karnataka will meet the Chief Minister and Mr. Justice Jain.

The BBA said the State Bar Council had extended its support and promised to join the delegation. It also decided to intensify its struggle from Monday.

GBA to continue boycott

Our Gulbarga Special Correspondent writes:

The Gulbarga Bar Association (GBA) today decided to continue boycott of court proceedings in the district till September 12 and send a complaint to the Chief Justice of India, V.N. Khare, and the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, against Mr. Justice Jain for his statement on the agitation by advocates and his stand on the demand for a Bench of the High Court in Gulbarga.

According to the original plan of the GBA, the boycott of court proceedings should have ended today.

But the GBA met under the chairmanship of its president, Kashinath Motakpalli, and decided to continue boycott of court proceedings.

The members of the association also decided to intensify the agitation in consultation with other Bar associations in the district and mobilise support from Bar associations in Raichur, Koppal, and Bellary districts for establishing a Bench of the High Court in Gulbarga.

`Set up Bench in Davangere'

Our Davangere Staff Correspondent writes:

Shyamanur Shivashankarappa, former MP and senior Congress leader, today called for the High Court Bench to be set up in Davangere.

He referred to the demand by advocates in North Karnataka and said it would be better if the Bench was established in Davangere which was centrally located and provided for easy access to people of all districts in the State.

Speaking at a function organised to inaugurate a library building of the Davangere Advocates' Association here, Mr. Shivashankarappa said that he did not understand why the advocates of Davangere and the surrounding regions had not raised the matter.

Reacting to his statement, advocates participating in the function said that they would seek the Bench in Davangere.

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