SC Rap On Lawyer Strikes: Odisha HC Bar Refutes Allegations Of Disrupting Court Work

Bhubaneswar: A day after the Supreme Court took strong note of the ongoing strike by lawyers in Odisha that has virtually paralyzed the justice delivery system; Orissa High Court Bar Association President, Gopal Krushna Mohanty today said the apex court’s observations are based on false information.

Mohanty said advocate Shiva Shankar Mishra who appeared on behalf of the High Court of Orissa in the matter, furnished wrong information before the apex court that the working of the court had been disrupted due to strikes by lawyers.

“We have not completely disrupted court proceedings, but are observing silent protests against delay in the appointment of judges as per sanctioned strength,” Mohanty said.

“The vacant posts of judges in the Orissa HC have not been filled for the last 15 years. The HC is functioning with only 14 judges. At present, the court is grappling with over 2.14 lakh pending cases,” Mohanty added.

He further stated that there is no transparency in the appointment of judges through collegium system. Not a single lawyer from Odisha has been elevated as Orissa HC judge in the last four years.

“We are not panicking after the observation of the top court that paramilitary forces would be deployed to restore judicial services,” the Bar association president, Gopal Krushna Mohanty said.

“We are waiting for details to be submitted by the High Court and hope that true facts will be presented. Action will be taken against lawyer Shiva Shankar Mishra for furnishing wrong information before the SC,” he added.

Notably, the Supreme Court yesterday expressed its displeasure over the lawyers strike and observed that the Judiciary system cannot be brought to a standstill. The apex court questioned whether the local police are in a position to end the impasse or the paramilitary forces would have to be deployed for which directions can be issued to the Central government.