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HC bench gets a push

Jalpaiguri, July 17: The district administration has floated tenders for the construction of a boundary wall on the land earmarked for Calcutta High Court’s circuit bench here — one more step towards the start of the bench’s functioning.

The tenders for the Rs 3 crore project were invited prior to chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit to north Bengal today.

Superintending engineer of north Bengal construction circle (II) of the public works department Shankar Roy Chowdhury said the design of the permanent bench had already been sent to Writers’ Buildings for approval. The state government had acquired a 40-acre plot at Rajbati Para for the circuit bench four years ago. There have been allegations that the previous Left Front government had sat over the proposal for the bench for a long time.

The Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, J.N. Patel, had announced here in July last year that the circuit bench could start functioning from temporary premises once the work on the permanent structure began.

According to officials, the Jalpaiguri Dak bungalow on Station Road has already been renovated for the circuit bench to function temporarily. Besides that, Teesta Bhawan, the irrigation bungalow near the Police Line, has also been kept aside as the temporary residence of the Chief Justice.

“Now that the work on the permanent structure has started, we will meet state law minister Moloy Ghatak and request him to take up the matter of starting the circuit bench from the temporary premises with the high court,” said Tapan Bhattacharya, the secretary of the Jalpaiguri Bar Association.

The circuit bench has been one of the top priorities of Mamata for north Bengal.

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