The upgradation of two Karnataka High Court Circuit Benches to permanent Benches on Wednesday received the nod of President Pranab Mukherjee. The Permanent Bench Dharwad will come into operation on August 24,while the one at Gulbarga will become operational on August 31,according to the High Court of Karnataka (Establishment of Permanent Benches at Dharwad and Gulbarga) Order,2013 signed by Mukherjee.
The Union Cabinet had approved upgrading the circuit Benches to permanent benches in June. Under the order,the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court has been empowered to nominate judges from his High Court to sit at Dharwad for cases arising in Bagalkot,Bellary,Belgaum,Dharwad,Gadag,Haveri,Uttara Kannada-Karwar and Koppal districts.
Judges sitting at the Gulbarga Bench will look after cases arising in Bidar,Bijapur,Gulbarga and Raichur districts of the state.
The order also gives the Karnataka HC Chief Justice the discretionary power to order any case or class of cases arising in any of the districts to be heard at the principal Bench at Bangalore.
At present,judges are sitting at Circuit Benches on a rotational basis for one month. The creation of permanent Benches would mean that judges will sit there on a permanent basis and it will end inconvenience to them, advocates and litigants.
Circuit Benches at Dharwad and Gulbarga were set up in July,2008. The state had a sanctioned strength of 41 judges in 2008,which has been increased to 50 Judges since November,2009.
Out of these,6 or 7 judges sit at the Circuit Bench at Dharwad and 4-3 judges at the Circuit Bench at Gulbarga on rotation basis. The state has sanctioned 190 positions of officials to work for the Dharwad Circuit Bench.