Pradeep Pattanayak

The Odisha State Bar Council on Tuesday directed bar associations in Sambalpur, Badamba, Tangi, Talcher and Pallahara to end their strike and return to work immediately. 

In his letter, J K Samantasinghar, the secretary of the Odisha State Bar Council, warned the agitating lawyers that their license of practice would be suspended if they don’t join their work. 

“Enclosing here with the order received from the Bar Council of India you are hereby categorically directed to immediately call off the ongoing strike otherwise the license of practice of individual lawyers participating in this boycott/abstention shall be put under suspension with immediate effect,” read the letter. 

Notably, the lawyers have been striking over several demands, the major one being the establishment of a permanent bench of Orissa High Court in western Odisha at Sambalpur.

The Odisha State Bar Council’s order came in the wake of the Supreme Court’s direction on Monday to agitating Odisha lawyers, asking them to get back to work or else their licenses will be suspended from the Bar Council of India.  

Hearing the petition filed by the Orissa High Court regarding the lawyers’ protest, the bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S. Oka had directed the agitating lawyers to resume work from Wednesday or else their license will either be suspended or cancelled.

The bench also had a report which states that a total of 2,14,176 judicial working hours were lost due to the strike between January 1 and September 30, 2022.