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Eye on April for circuit bench kick-off

Calcutta, Feb. 17: The circuit bench of Calcutta High Court may start functioning by April with the government approving the Jalpaiguri Zilla Parishad bungalow as its temporary location.

The judiciary and the law department have already conveyed the decision to the Centre.

According to law department sources, the Centre will have to introduce a Bill during the budget session of Parliament, which began today, to amend the existing State Re-organisation Act. The bench could start functioning at the site once the amendment is passed and the gazette notification issued.

“The process will be complete by April,” the sources said.

The government has also approved the high court’s proposal to set up a permanent circuit bench in north Bengal at a location close to the Assam More in Jalpaiguri. Construction will begin only after the Centre sanctions the funds, the sources said.

The circuit bench has been a long-standing demand of the region’s six districts. The Centre and the Supreme Court had also directed the state government and the high court to initiate steps in this regard.

Union law minister Arun Jaitley, during his visit to the city last week, had requested chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to send the necessary approval to the Centre. “We will not make any further delays in the process,” Jaitley had assured Bhattacharjee.

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