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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Amid mounting protests for establishment of High Court benches in southern and western parts of the state, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today requested Union Law and Justice Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad to expedite the formal process for setting up the HC benches.

In a letter to Prasad, the CM said that to mitigate the inconvenience faced by the litigants in southern and western regions of the State, establishment of HC benches is necessary.

He further said that the State government will provide adequate resources for establishment of HC benches. "The views of the Orissa HC on our recommendation have not materialised so far. The State Government is aware of the various decisions of the Supreme Court including the case of Federation of Bar Associations of Karnataka lawyers," he wrote.

He further said that there are adequate justifications for establishment of permanent benches of Orissa High Court and Odisha is aware of the recommendations of the Jaswant Singh Commission, which was set up for establishment of HC benches away from its principal seat.

"In our view, there is adequate justification for establishment of permanent Benches of Orissa High Court in the western and southern parts of Odisha and the criteria laid down by Justice Jaswant Singh Commission are also substantially met," the letter read.

Meanwhile, members of Sambalpur District Bar Association on Wednesday intensified agitation over their long-standing demand of a permanent HC bench by closing down all the courts in the town from today.

The shutdown will reportedly be observed till the end of the monsoon session of the Odisha Assembly on September 20. The association has also threatened to shut down revenue offices from September 6 and stage protest at Nelson Mandela Chhak in the town from 10 AM to 5 PM.

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