History of Varanasi Judgeship

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The land of Varanasi (Kashi),a religious and cultural capital of India often referred to as Benares, is the oldest living city in the world and is said to be abode of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. These few lines said by Mark Twain tell all about Varanasi: "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together". The origins of Varanasi are yet unknown. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals. Varanasi has also been a great center of learning for ages. The history of Varanasi Judgeship can be taken from 1913 when the Civil Court was constructed across river Varuna. At that time Varanasi Judgeship was headed by District Judge. Civil Judge and Judge Small Causes Court were the other courts. In the year 1923 Munsif City and Munsif Hawali was established in Varanasi. Those Courts had territorial jurisdiction over entire Varanasi which included entire district. Varanasi Judgeship had two outline courts at that time one was at Gyanpur now in Sant Ravidasnagar and other at Chakia now in District Chandauli. All the courts of Varanasi were under control of Allahabad High Court. The District Judge at that time had overall administrative control over civil and criminal matters. The monetary jurisdiction of District Judge and Civil Judge was unlimited but the territorial jurisdiction confined to district of Varanasi only. In the year 1994 new District Sant Ravidas Nagar (Bhadohi) was carved from district Varanasi. Further in the year 1998 new District Chandauli was carved from Varanasi district. Thus now the total Area of District Varanasi is 1,535 square kilometers. The population of Varanasi District according to census of 2011 is 36,82,194 of which male and female are 19,28,641 and 17,53,553 respectively. The District of Varanasi has 27 Police stations. At present there are 61 Courts in Varanasi Judgeship including the District and Sessions Judge. The Judgeship constitutes one District and Sessions Judge, fourteen additional District Judges and seven Additional District and Sessions Judge/Special Judge namely Special Judge SC/ST Act, Special Judge EC Act and five Special Judge Anti Corruption, two Additional District and Sessions Judge (Fast Track Court), one Principal Judge Family Court, one Court of Judge Small Causes Court and one Additional Judge Small Causes Court, one Chief Judicial Magistrate and one Special Chief Judicial Magistrate and twelve Additional Chief Judicial Magistrates including two ACJM Railways, one court of Civil Judge Senior Division and four courts of Additional Civil Judge Senior Division, one Civil Judge Senior Division (Fast Track Court), two courts of Civil Judge Junior Division (City and Hawali), eight courts of Additional Civil Judge (Junior Division), one Civil Judge Junior Division (Fast Track Court), and three Judicial Magistrates. The Judgeship has two Bar Associations namely The Benares Bar Association and The Central Bar Association.

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