Siliguri: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that north Bengal can no longer complain of step-motherly treatment thanks to her government’s development initiatives in the region since 2011.
Banerjee was speaking today at the operationlisation ceremony of Jalpaiguri Circuit Bench of the Calcutta High Court, a three-decade-old dream of north Bengal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Circuit Bench from a public rally at Falakata on 8 February but neither anyone from the High Court nor from the Bengal government was present.
Today’s event was hosted and organised by the High Court. Apart from the Chief Minister, Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi, Acting Chief Justice Biswanath Samaddar, West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee and, state law minister Malay Ghatak were present on the dais.
“The decision to set up the Circuit Bench was taken in 1988 but it was hanging fire. Finally, I laid the foundation stone in 2012 and today it is being inaugurated. The Bench will start functioning from 11 March,” the Chief Minister said.
On the occasion, she highlighted the various projects and development initiatives that her government has implemented or are implementing in north Bengal.
“We have built a Bengal Safari park in Siliguri, a world-class indoor stadium at Jalpaiguri, a branch secretariat in Siliguri, a university in Cooch Behar. Besides this, a medical college is being built at Jalpaiguri, universities are coming up Alipurduar, Darjeeling, and Balurghat.”
“Hence, north Bengal can no longer accuse Kolkata of step-motherly treatment,” Banerjee said, adding that being the home to various communities and linguistic groups, diversity is north Bengal’s strength.
The Chief Minister urged the High Court authorities to allow lawyers to argue their cases in the Circuit Bench in regional languages, including Bengali.
Since all the judges may not be familiar with the regional languages, she proposed that a mechanism may be put in place for this.
The Circuit Bench will start function from 11 March and initially, there will be two single judge benches and one division bench that will operate here.
Along with the Acting Chief Justice, three more judges will hear the cases in the first phase till 15 March.