Police-Lawyer Spat: Orissa HC sets deadline to complete probe

Cuttack: Amidst the ongoing controversy surrounding the lawyers’ agitation, Orissa High Court on Tuesday directed the investigating officer to complete the probe into police-lawyer spat under the supervision of a sitting judge by November 9.

The Chief justice of Orissa High Court, K.S. Jhaveri also directed the investigating officer appraise the development of the investigation to sitting Judge CR Dash.

The lawyers, who have been staging a cease-work agitation since August 28 demanding arrest of policemen for assaulting one of the colleagues, today said that they will continue their cease-work stir till November 1.

In a statement issued after the general body meeting today, Orissa High Court Bar Association President Srikant Nayak informed that the ongoing cease-work by the lawyers would continue and the next course of action will be decided in an emergency meeting of all Bar Associations to be held on November 1.

Nayak further informed as decided in the previous meeting of the Bar Association, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s effigy will be burnt in front of all the Bar Associations across the State tomorrow.

Moreover, action is likely to be taken against four lawyers-Convener of the BJD Legal Front Millan Kanungo, Adviser, Asim Amitabh Das, former vice-president of High Court Bar Association, Bansidhar Satpathy and Chairman, Tahali Charan Mohanty.

Similarly, the court proceedings were hit as lawyers stopped judge from entering District and Sessions Judge Courts in Balasore and other parts of the State today. Camp courts could not be held in view of such agitations, sources said.

However, the Orissa High Court Bar Association members staged a peaceful demonstration in front of the High Court while no members of the BJD legal front were seen today.

Senior BJP leader, Biswa Bhusan Harichandan criticised Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for not resolving the lawyers’ issue which has now snowballed into a major controversy.

Speaking on the lawyers’ agitation for the first time, Odisha law minister Pratap Jena on the other hand stated that the State government is concerned and is taking adequate measures in this regard.

“The political parties who are adding fuel to the issue should remember that the Odisha government has taken necessary steps as two persons have been arrested and four police personnel have been suspended in connection with the incident.” Jena said.

As the matter is under the sub-judice, the State government will take necessary steps as per the directions of High Court. The lawyers should call off their strike larger interest of the people as there is a delay in justice delivery, Jena added.

Police Commissioner Satyajit Mohanty stated that stringent action will be taken against those involved in the violence which took place following the scuffle between the agitating lawyers and members of the BJD Legal Front yesterday.

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