Odishatv Bureau

Cuttack: The functioning of the Orissa High Court has been paralysed since Monday as the lawyers are on a cease-work agitation demanding immediate appointment of judges against the vacancies.

Hearing of cases has been visibly affected since the start of the week creating problems for the people.

“I had the date for hearing but there were no proceedings due to the strike. We are facing a lot of problems; but we have no choice,” said one Laxmidhar Barik of Jagatsinghpur district.

The current judge strength of the HC is 16 against sanctioned posts of 27. Two judges will retire in June-July which will further lead to delay in hearing of cases and subsequently increasing the number of pending cases, said the agitating lawyers.

"People are deprived of justice due to shortage of judges. Demanding early appointment of judges, we have launched the cease work agitation. We will continue the stir till Monday and our next course of action will be decided in the general body meeting on Friday," said Satyabrat Mohanty, secretary of the High Court Bar Association.

Meanwhile, Odisha Law Minister Pratap Jena said that he had personally approached the Union Law Minister and the Chief Justice of India and drawn their attention to the matter.

Jena also urged the lawyers to call off their strike and return to work.