Pradeep Pattanayak

The Supreme Court on Monday granted the last opportunity to the lawyers, who had indulged in vandalism in court premises during their strike demanding a bench of Orissa High Court, to file their affidavits within a period of six weeks. 

According to, a bench comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice Aravind Kumar was apprised that of the 190 lawyers who had been served notices, 33 are yet to file affidavits. 

The counsel appearing for the lawyers submitted that he has the affidavits but they have some defects that need to be cured. For this, he sought three weeks’ time, said. 

“33 contemnors are stated not to have filed their affidavit yet. Counsel appearing for them requests for 3 weeks’ time to file the affidavit. This is the last opportunity beyond which we will assume they have nothing to say and proceed with contempt,” read the order. 

The Bench was apprised that some of the contemnors have not been served. Accordingly, the Bench directed the unserved contemnors to be served. It directed the matter to be next listed in August 2023, said 

Notably, the lawyers of Western Odisha had launched a strike 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, 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.