Sidharth Tanmoy Dash

Bhubaneswar: Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Wednesday directed the Odisha government to send a comprehensive proposal in consultation with and consent of the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court for setting up High Court benches in southern and western parts of the State.

The response of the Union Minister came a week after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, through a letter, urged him to expedite the formal process for setting up the HC benches.

Prasad’s letter further stated that the state government should work out the details including provision of land, building for High Court and residential accommodation for Judges and staff of the proposed Bench in consultation with the Chief Justice.

"Once the state government conveys the proposal with due preparation along with the consent of the high court, which would, obviously include the location and jurisdiction of the proposed benches, the Union Government would take further necessary action,” mentioned Ravi Shankar Prasad in the letter.

Meanwhile, senior BJD leader Prasanna Acharya termed the letter of the Union Minister as another farcical act of the Centre to pass on the responsibility back to Odisha government.

Earlier in the day, the High Court Bar Association decided to continue the ongoing cease-work stir till Monday in connection with non-fulfillment of their previous demands and alleged thrashing of a lawyer by a police officer.

"A representative group of the association met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal demanding fulfillment of various demands; the next course of action of the association will be chalked out on Monday," said Association president Srikanta Kumar Nayak.