Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: Amidst ongoing lawyers' protest, camp courts were held today inside jails across Odisha to provide bail to accused in custody.

According to sources, 270 accused in custody were granted bail on the first day of the camp courts held at various jails across the State.

In Kendrapara jail, 157 accused were granted bail. In Choudwar, out of 56 persons who got bail, 26 were released. Similarly, 29 bail petitions were heard in Karanjia jail, 9 in Barbil, 7 in Rairangpur, 8 in Jagatsinghpur and 4 each in Soro, Anandpur and Champua.

"My husband was arrested without any crime. I have come here to take him out on bail," said Rupa Mallick, wife of an accused in custody.

Sushant Behera, brother of another accused, in Sambalpur said "My brother was arrested in a liquor-related case and is in jail for the last 2 months. After the court's order, we are here to take him out on bail."

"A camp court is currently running inside the jail after an order was given by the High Court," Jail Superintendent of Choudwar, Ravindra Kumar Swain, said.

On the other hand, agitating lawyers protested against the camp courts. Tension prevailed in places like Jajpur, Keonjhar, Udala, and Kamakshyanagar after the protesting lawyers stopped judges from entering the jail premises.

The Orissa High Court on Saturday had directed the District & Sessions Judges to hold camp courts in jails to meet the extraordinary situation across the State arising out of prolonged abstinence of work by advocates.

The HC in a letter had instructed the District & Sessions Judges to hold camp courts for hearing bail pleas of accused in custody to address over-crowding in various jails across the state due to the lawyers’ stir.