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Devbrat Patnaik

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Union Law & Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad threw the ball back into the Odisha's court over the long-standing demands of the people of western and southern Odisha to set up division bench(es) of Orissa High Court for mitigation of their problems.

In the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, in response to a question by Bolangir MP Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo in this regard, the law minister stated that Odisha government is yet to submit a complete proposal to the Central government regarding setting up of HC benches.

High Court Benches, at a place other than its Principal seat, are established in accordance with the recommendations made by the Jaswant Singh Commission and judgment pronounced by the Apex Court and after due consideration of a complete proposal from the State Government incorporating readiness to provide infrastructure and meet the expenditure, along with the consent of the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court and the consent of the Governor of the concerned State, the Union Minister said.

On whether Odisha government has given complete proposal regarding the establishment of Western Orissa High Court bench, Prasad said, "The State government has requested for setting up of Orissa High Court Bench in Western and Southern region of Odisha. The Central government has requested the Odisha government to work out details of the proposed bench including its location in consultation with the High Court of Orissa. However, no response has been received yet."

At present, no complete proposal regarding setting up of bench(es) of Orissa High Court is pending with the government, the law minister said.

The Centre has, for more than a year, been stating that the Union government would take further necessary action in this matter only when Odisha government along with the High Court communicate their clear views.

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