Pradeep Pattanayak

The Orissa High Court on Friday granted conditional bail to 29 advocates who were arrested in connection with vandalism in the Sambalpur district judge court.  

The HC had on Thursday heard the case but reserved its verdict. The State’s apex court on Friday granted conditional bail to the advocates with some conditions like refraining from holding rallies, giving statements before media and influencing witnesses.

The lawyers of Western Odisha had been demanding a permanent High Court bench in the region. Since the lawyers’ absence was affecting court work, the Supreme Court had asked them to get back to their work or else their licenses would be suspended from the Bar Council of India. 

Following the Apex Court’s direction, the Odisha State Bar Council had on November 15 asked the bar associations in Sambalpur, Talcher and Pallahara to end their strikes and return to work immediately. 

On November 28, the Supreme Court of India had directed the Bar Council of India to cancel the licenses of the agitating lawyers. 

On November 30, the protests took an ugly turn when the agitating lawyers engaged in a scuffle with police forces at Kacheri Square in Sambalpur. It was when the police uprooted the tents pitched by the agitating lawyers that the scuffle ensued. 

On December 12, the Kacheri Square turned into a battlefield when a scuffle broke out between the agitating lawyers and the police. The scuffle ensued when the lawyers tried to enter the court premises breaking the police barricades. During the melee, some people had allegedly vandalized the Sambalpur district judge court. In this connection, the police had made the arrests.

(Reported by Goutam Panda, OTV )