Central Action Committee meets CM over setting up of HC bench in western Odisha

Bhubaneswar: A 15-member delegation of the Central Action Committee today met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Secretariat demanding establishment of a permanent bench of the Orissa High Court in western part of the State.

The delegation including Sambalpur MLA Raseswari Panigrahi and members of the bar association, met Patnaik and presented their long standing demands.

“The CM assured us that he would write another strong letter to the Centre. However, we demanded that a delegation of the State government should visit Delhi and talk to the Centre,” convener of the Committee Ashok Das said after the discussion.

The MPs from the State should make concerted effort to ensure that a bill on establishment on permanent bench should be passed in the Parliament this Monsoon session, Committee spokesperson Sureswara Mishra said.

Reacting to the development, Bolangir district bar association president Ashok Mohanty rued that the Centre is adopting a delaying tactic by pointing out that applications by the state government were being filed in the “wrong format.”

“When Rajya Sabha member Prasanna Acharya questioned about the demand for the permanent bench of the High Court in western Odisha in the Upper House, the Union minister of State for Law PP Choudhury answered that the State had presented the demands in a wrong format.”

“However, we believe that the State government has applied in the correct format. Rather, it is the Centre which is adopting a delaying tactics to avoid setting up of the bench,” Mohanty said.

The CM has sent multiple letters to the Centre demanding setting up of the bench, sources said. A separate bench of the High Court has been a major demand by the lawyers of western Odisha since several years.