Pradeep Singh

The Supreme Court on Monday came down heavily on the Odisha Police DG and Sambalpur IGP over their failure in handling lawyers' strike in the state.

The Apex Court rapped both the police officials stating that they have failed in handling the situation and asked them to appear via video conference on Wednesday. 

Taking a tough stand against the ongoing agitation, the SC further said that the Odisha Police should inform the Court if they can't handle the protest. 

"We will deploy Central forces if the Odisha Police is unable to control the situation," the top court said.    

Earlier in November, the SC expressed concerns over the lawyers’ strike seeking the establishment of permanent High Court (HC) bench n Western Odisha. The Court also served notice on the Bar Council of India and the Bar Council of Odisha.  

The SC bench expressed anger after learning that court works have been affected badly due to lawyers’ protests in the state. The bench also slapped notice on different district bar associations asking them to make their stand on the issue.

The Court’s order came in response to a petition filed by the Orissa High Court in connection with the loss of over 2 lakh working hours in a span of nine months due to non-participation of members of different bar associations of the state in court proceedings.

On the other hand, on Monday (December 12), a scuffle broke out between policemen and lawyers, who have been demanding the setting up of the permanent High Court bench in the district, at Kacheri Chhak in Sambalpur. 

The scuffle reportedly ensued between police and lawyers when the latter tried to enter the court premises by breaking the police barricades.