Allahabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in the city to attend BJP's two-day national executive meeting, on Sunday visited the historic Allahabad High Court and spent nearly an hour at the institution currently celebrating 150 years of its establishment.
Modi reached the high court premises at 4 PM and was received by judges led by Acting Chief Justice V K Shukla and members of the Bar Association. The Prime Minister spent nearly 50 minutes at the court before leaving for Kali Prasad Inter College sports ground, where the national executive meeting is scheduled later in the evening.
Earlier in the day, the party's state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya had made a dash to the Allahabad High Court following reports that members of the High Court Bar Association (HCBA) were livid over a recent media report wherein BJP national president Amit Shah had been quoted as having supported a separate bench of the judicial body for western Uttar Pradesh.
The issue of a separate bench has been under consideration for long and advocates of the high court have been stoutly opposing the idea as it would "deprive" them of clientele from that relatively prosperous and crime-ridden region.
Last night, the HCBA held an emergency meeting and announced that its members will register protest over Shah's alleged statement when the Prime Minister's visits the High Court.
However, the HCBA withdrew its protest following the visit of Maurya, who explained that the media report was unsubstantiated and that Shah himself has denied having spoken anything over the separate bench issue, the Association's Chairman Radha Kant Ojha said.
"The members of the Bar agreed to join the Bench in welcoming the Prime Minister who made a courtesy call at the High Court which is celebrating its sesquicentennial", Ojha said.
Earlier, the Prime Minister had gone to a city hotel straight from the airport to attend a meeting of the party's national office-bearers, chaired by Shah. Allahabad High Court was founded as the High Court of Judicature for the North-Western Provinces in Agra on March 17, 1866 by the Indian High Courts Act 1861, replacing the old Sadar Diwani Adalat.
It was shifted from Agra to Allahabad in 1869 and the name was correspondingly changed to the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad. The former High Court was housed in the Accountant General's office before the new court building came up which was inaugurated in 1916 by the then Viceroy Lord Chelmsford.