Vikash Sharma

Once again the hope for a permanent bench of the Orissa High Court in Western Odisha has come alive after Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju’s letter to BJP MP Suresh Pujari.

Earlier, Pujari had raised the issue of ‘demand of setting up a permanent bench of High Court in western part of Odisha’ during the Zero Hour in Lok Sabha on December 21, 2022.

In his letter, the Union Law Minister has stated that, “The Odisha government has requested for setting up High Court bench in western and southern region of Odisha. The Central Government has requested the state government of Odisha, time and again, to work out details of the proposed benches including its location in consultation with High Court of Orissa. However, no response has been received yet.”

According to Rijiju, at present no complete proposal regarding the setting up of bench (es) of Orissa High Court is pending with the Government.

“The State government along with Orissa High Court needs to work out details including provision of land, building of High Court and residential accommodation for judges and staff of proposed bench. Once the state government communicates the proposal along with the consent of the High Court, the government will take further necessary action,” Rijiju's letter read.

Commenting on the letter, Pujari said, “There were lot of apprehensions in the minds of people regarding the setting up of High Court permanent bench in western Odisha in the backdrop of the December 12 violence and vandalism following which Supreme Court toughened its stand and the license of several lawyers were cancelled and many were arrested.”

Pujari said the Union Law Minister in his letter dated January 27, 2023 has stated that the Centre is ready for setting up the bench but a complete proposal is yet to be received from the Odisha government.

(Reported by Sibanand Rout)