Protests rear head for HC bench in northern Odisha

Balasore: Amid the ongoing letter-war between Centre and the Odisha government, the demand for establishment of a permanent bench of Orissa High Court has now gained momentum in northern Odisha. Lawyers of western and southern Odisha have been agitating for establishment of high court benches in their respective regions.

A protest was staged by Balasore district bar association today to press for a permanent bench in the region. Court proceedings in the district were disrupted as lawyers in Soro, Nilagiri and Jaleswar resorted to cease-work today.
“We have been demanding establishment of High Court bench in Balasore which has the requisite infrastructure. We have already apprised the authorities concerned,” said an agitating lawyer.

It is pertinent to mention here that Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, in a letter to Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on January 11, had urged the Centre to take an expeditious decision regarding establishment of High Court benches in western and southern Odisha.

Patnaik in his letter had assured that the State government will provide adequate resources for establishment of HC benches.

In response to CM Naveen Patnaik’s letter, Union Law minister had urged the Odisha government to have necessary consultations with the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court to work out the details of the proposed bench (es).

“It is imperative that the Chief Justice of the High Court is consulted and recommendations of Orissa High Court obtained before setting up any bench (es) of the High Court in the State. The same process is followed in case of all other High Courts. Once the State government along with the High Court communicate their clear views, the Union Government would take further necessary action in this matter,” Prasad wrote to Naveen on January 14.