Ramakanta Biswas

The lawyers of western Odisha have intensified their demand for the establishment of permanent High Court (HC) bench in Western Odisha and warned to gherao Lok Seva Bhawan (secretariat) today, September 28.  

Members of all bar associations in Western Odisha under the central action committee will reportedly take out a rally from Master Canteen to Lok Seva Bhawan. The lawyers warned that they will enter the Lok Seva Bhawan if the government does not give them time for a discussion on the issue.

The lawyers alleged that though the Centre had asked the State government to send a comprehensive proposal for setting up of a permanent bench in Western Odisha, the government is sitting silent. Some MLAs of Western Odisha have extended their support to the agitation of the lawyers. 

“While Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is taking up various issues with the Centre frequently, he is silent on setting up of High Court bench in Western Odisha after raising the issue once. The people of Western Odisha want to know under whose pressure the CM is keeping mum,” asked Biswajit Panda, secretary central action committee. 

Pradip Bahidar, chairman of Sambalpur district lawyers association said, “Though we demanded to hold discussion with the government on establishment of  High Court bench in Sambalpur, the government is paying no heed to our demands. Members of all bars and lawyers associations under the central action committee will take out a rally from Master Canteen in Bhubaneswar today and move towards Vidhan Sabha. The members will then proceed to hold discussion with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.”

Sambalpur MLA and leader of Opposition Jayanarayan Mishra said, “After the Centre made it crystal clear about the HC bench, the dilly-dallying of the Odisha government is highly condemnable. The bar associations wants the HC bench to be set up in Sambalpur. Therefore, the government must establish the bench without further delay.”

(Reporter: Soumya Ranjan Sahoo, OTV)