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Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: The Central government has assured that it will take further action to establish a High Court bench in western or Southern Odisha after the state government and Orissa High Court clarify their stance in this connection.

In a reply to Odisha BJP MP Nitesh Ganga Deb's question in Lok Sabha regarding establishment of Orissa High Court bench in Sambalpur on June 25, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has stated that 'Once the State government and the High Court communicate their clear views; the Union government will take further necessary action in this matter.'

The Union Law Minister also mentioned about the recommendations made by the Jaswant Singh Commission and judgment pronounced by the Apex Court in this regard.

Prasad pointed out that 'Benches of the High Court are established after due consideration of a complete proposal from the State government, which is to provide infrastructure and meet the expenditure, along with the consent of the Chief Justice of concerned High Court. The proposal should also have the consent of the Governor of the concerned State.'

Notably, the Centre had also earlier requested CM Naveen Patnaik to work out the details of the proposed benches after consideration with the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court. Patnaik had written to the Union Law Minister on January 11 demanding an early decision in this regard.

Meanwhile, demand for the establishment of the special HC bench in the undivided Koraput grew louder as hundreds of lawyers of the region along with Jeypore MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati staged a dharna and urged both the State and Central government to look into the issue.

Lawyers associations of western and southern Odisha have been demanding establishment of permanent High Court benches in their respective areas and protesting for the same since September 2018.

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