Members of various bar associations in Agra and Aligarh divisions have formed an action committee to press for the implementation of Jaswant Singh Commission's recommendation of a bench in Agra and have planned to gherao Taj Mahal on August 26 to draw people's attention to the demand.
A three-member commission headed by Jaswant Singh, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India, was appointed in September 1981 to decide the location of a new bench in western Uttar Pradesh.
The Commission had suggested that Agra was the most appropriate place for such a bench. Meanwhile, a deputation of lawyers in Delhi have submitted a memorandum addressed to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Union Minister Jitendra Singh seeking their support for a bench at Agra.
In Muzaffarnagar, lawyers have been boycotting judicial work to demand for the setting up of a bench in the region, resulting in a sharp increase in the number of undertrial prisoners in different district jails of western UP.
The number of undertrial prisoners this week in Muzaffarnagar district jail alone has increased to 2,250 from 2,225 during the lawyers' agitation, said Mijazilal, jailor of the district jail.
The state high court bench action committee here has decided to extend its boycott till August 26 and also plans to carry out a demonstration in Delhi to press for their demands.
At present, Allahabad High Court has only one additional Bench at Lucknow which caters to about a dozen districts situated in the vicinity of the state capital.
Lawyers at Allahabad, however, are vehemently opposed to any move to set up a new Bench as it is likely to deprive them of a sizable section of their clientele.