Demand For HC Bench In Western Odisha Now A Political Row


Bhubaneswar: Days after the Supreme Court ruled out the possibility of the establishment of a permanent High Court bench in western Odisha, the politics over the issue has intensified.

While the opposition BJP held the State govt responsible for the matter, BJD has given a befitting reply.

Taking note of the violence on the premises of Sambalpur court during the lawyer’s protest over establishment of a permanent High Court bench and the subsequent action against the advocates, five BJP MPs from the region on Friday wrote to the Chief Minister to resolve the issue and release the lawyers arrested for their alleged role in the incident.

The BJP in a letter to CM Naveen Patnaik blamed the State and said Union Law Minister had submitted a detailed proposal for HC bench. The Union Law Minister has made statements in the Parliament and written letter to the State government several times for an agreeable resolution towards establishment of the permanent bench of the Orissa high court in the western part of Odisha, the MP mentioned in the letter.

The delay and lack of commitment of the state government neither in holding consultation with the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court and Governor of Odisha nor providing the composite proposals sought by the Union Law Ministry has led to the present unpleasant law,” said BJP in its letter.

As per procedure, he said, the state government should submit a composite proposal mentioning the exact location for the establishment of the HC bench, its jurisdiction and assurance to provide the required infrastructure for it.

In the letter, the BJP also mentioned the licenses of more than 14 lawyers have been suspended while over 12 have been arrested. Following this, an untoward situation has aroused in the Sambalpur court. This has affected the weaker section of the people who run to the court for justice.

They demanded the state to release the arrested lawyers and take up the matter with the Bar Council of India to revoke the suspension of licenses of the lawyers in the interest of the poor litigants as well as restoration of peace, tranquillity and conducive healthy atmosphere in the state.

On the other hand, BJD commented on the issue and blamed the Center for the non-establishment of the Western Odisha High Court Bench.

BJD MP Dr. Sasmit Patra told mediaperson in New Delhi that the Central Government is not taking the initiative. He said, “Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has provided all kinds of infrastructure and financial resources for the establishment of the High Court Bench in West Odisha.” He has given full commitment to the Center to provide assistance.

Dr. Patra said that despite the Chief Minister giving a ‘blank check’ for all the work in this matter, why the Center is not taking steps to identify the place for this after consulting the Orissa High Court.

The Rajya Sabha member said the Centre can only establish the High Court bench through the Parliament by exercising its powers under Entry-78 of the Union list in the Constitution.

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