Lawyer agitation: Nearly 2-month-long cease-work stir cripples justice delivery in Odisha 

Bhubaneswar: Whether justice is being denied could be argued by some, but there seems to be an inordinate delay in justice delivery as it is almost 2 months that the Orissa High Court has remained out of bounds for the common man.

It is now for the past two months that the lawyers under the aegis of Orissa High Court Bar Association are continuing their strike against the assault on one of their colleagues by police personnel.

Besides, the strike by lawyers demanding permanent High Court Bench in Western Odisha has also compounded miseries of various litigants.

Family members of Ekadasi Das, who was arrested in connection with unrest during Durga Puja immersion ceremony in Balasore, are now staring at an uncertain future.

Ekadasi is the sole bread earner of his family and is languishing inside jail as his family failed to secure a bail owing to the lawyers strike.

“Though we have tried to arrange for my husband’s bail, we failed in our attempts due to the ongoing strike by lawyers,” said wife of Ekadasi, Manjulata.

Not only Ekadasi, several persons who have been arrested in petty crimes are presently lodged in various jails across the State.

The standoff between lawyers and cops has led to resentment as people are being sent to jail even in petty cases which is being seen as a human rights violation. Besides, it has also led to piling up of cases.

The capacity of Sambalpur circle jail is to accommodate only 519 prisoners while presently 1,044 inmates are lodged here. The Balasore Jail is also overcrowded as 555 prisoners are lodged against a capacity for 480.

“We are facing problems as the number of inmates has increased in the past few months,” said in-charge superintendent of Balasore Jail, Subhakant Mishra.

Jailor of Sambalpur jail, SK Bal informed that they are managing by shifting some inmates to other jails or accommodating them in the hospital ward.

 

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