Agartala: The Tripura High Court was opened by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir here on Tuesday, ending a 30-year-old struggle for an independent high court in the state.
With this, the total number of high courts in the country increased from 21 to 24. Justice Kabir had inaugurated the Meghalaya High Court and the Manipur High Court on Monday.
"The over 30-year-old struggle of the people of Tripura has ended with the setting up of a separate high court," Chief Minister Manik Sarkar told reporters.
Sarkar said: "We strongly believe that with the setting up of the new high court, democracy in Tripura would be stronger, consolidated and vibrant."
Earlier Saturday, Justice Deepak Gupta, who is from Himachal Pradesh, took over as the first chief justice of the Tripura High Court while Justice Utpalendu Bikash Saha, Justice Swapan Chandra Das and Justice Subhashish Talapatra - all from Tripura - assumed office as judges. They were earlier associated with the Gauhati High Court.
"In Tripura alone, over 52,000 cases are pending in lower courts and 5,500 cases are awaiting disposal in the high court," Tripura law department secretary Datamohan Jamatia said.
"Cases and litigations of the state were earlier dealt at Gauhati High Court or at the Agartala bench of the high court, resulting in slow trials. Now, they would be taken up at the Tripura High Court which will make the process of pending cases much faster," Jamatia said.
The mandatory amendment to the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971 - the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012 - was passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in May 2012, paving the way for the creation of separate high courts in Tripura, Meghalaya and Manipur.
The seven northeastern states -- Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh -- have been under the Gauhati High Court with benches in the respective state capitals. Sikkim has a separate high court.
Lok Sabha member from Tripura Khagen Das, who had moved a private member`s bill earlier for amending the necessary act to set up the high courts, said: "The 30-year-long struggle for a separate high court in Tripura has finally yielded expected results."