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Orissa HC stays Bar Council Chairman election

Odisha

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Thursday stayed the scheduled election of chairman of the Odisha Bar Council that was fixed to be held on January 21.

The HC also adjourned the hearings on two relevant writ petitions in this connection to February 19.

The post has been lying vacant following the resignation of Manas Ranjan Mohapatra as Bar Council chairman in July last year. A majority of its members had requested Advocate General (AG) SP Mishra to supervise elections for a new chairman.

Despite making attempts for at least five times, Mishra during the past six months had not been able to initiate the election process apparently due to lack of proper atmosphere and cooperation from a section of members of the council.

Anticipating a similar situation would again prevail to sabotage the scheduled election on January 21, a member of the council, Manas Chand, had approached the High Court seeking a direction to all members to cooperate with the AG for the election.

On the other hand, questioning the authority and locus standi of the Advocate General to hold the council election to fill the casual vacancy arising because of the resignation of the chairman, Atma Prakash Mohanty, another member of the council had also approached the High Court.

Tagging the petitions of Chand and Mohanty together, a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Vineet Saran in a joint hearing on the day issued notices to all the members of the Bar Council asking them to submit their individual views on the issue and fixed the matter to be heard again next month.

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