HC bench demand: Western Odisha MLAs meet CM Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar/ Cuttack: A day after Odisha government urged the agitating lawyers of western Odisha to end their cease-work agitation; a delegation comprising legislators from Western Odisha met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today and requested him to look into the demands of a permanent High Court bench in the region. The delegation however failed to meet the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court in Cuttack today.

“Legislators cutting across party lines met Odisha CM today in the evening and demanded establishment of a permanent bench of Orissa High Court in western Odisha. The CM supported our demand and requested us to urge the bar associations to call off their agitation,” said Congress MLA from Jharsuguda, Naba Das.

BJD’s Sambalpur MLA, Raseswari Panigrahi said “The CM has written to the Centre thrice and promised to provide all support for establishment of a High Court bench in western Odisha. CM also stated that the government is with the people and appealed lawyers to end their agitation.”

It is pertinent to mention here that lawyers in the western parts of the State have been agitating over the past two months pressing for a permanent High Court bench in the region. Keeping in view the problems faced by people and disruption of judicial services, the Home department yesterday had appealed the agitating lawyers and other members to withdraw their protest in the larger interests of the people.

Following the appeal by the State government, an emergency meeting of bar associations in Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Deogarh was held in Jharsuguda under the aegis of the Central Action Committee today.

The lawyers termed the appeal of the State government an attempt to derail their ongoing agitation and have called for a 3-day economic blockade from January 7.