Odisha State Bar Council echoes Supreme Court’s orders; Asks lawyers to withdraw strike


Cuttack: The Supreme Court asked the Odisha lawyers on strike demanding, among other things, setting up of a permanent bench of the high court in the western part of the state, to resume work starting Wednesday or face consequences, including facing contempt of court proceedings and suspension or cancellation of their licenses.

Meanwhile, the Odisha State Bar Council directed the Bar Associations in Sambalpur, Baramba, Tangi, Talcher and Pallahara to immediately call off ongoing strike and warned that license of practice of individual lawyers will be put under suspension if stir is not withdrawn.

The observations came on an application filed by the Odisha High Court last month lamenting the loss of judicial time due to strikes by lawyers in various district courts in the State over the past few months.

The reasons, mentioned by the High Court, for such abstention include establishment of a permanent bench of the Odisha HC in Sambalpur, “scorching heat”, “demanding crop insurance” and enhancement of welfare funds. It then submitted that “such abstention by the members of the Bar Associations has seriously hampered the judicial work in all the subordinate Courts of the State”.

Hearing the application, an apex court bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S. Oka on Monday emphasised that “access to justice” was the very foundation of a legal system and asserted, “The legal fraternity is the instrument of access to justice to the people at large. When the very instruments abstain from court proceedings, the casualty is the access to justice to the common people and it is the common people and litigants who suffer. We will not countenance this.”



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