Orissa HC Bar Association opposes proposal to set up two new benches

The Orissa High Court Bar Association has expressed opposition to the state government’s move for establishment of two permanent benches of the HC in western and south region of the state.

The Bar Association has passed a resolution in its general body meeting to oppose establishment of the two new permanent benches, Association Secretary Alok Prasad Nanda said on Thursday.

He said that the Association will ask Chief Justice S. Muralidhar urging him not to give his consent for establishment of the two benches, and set up an empowered committee, which will take up the matter with the Chief Justice before the summer vacation.

“After receiving the opinion of the Chief Justice, we will again discuss the matter in our next general body meeting after reopening of the court and take future course of action,” said Nanda.

The association is opposing the proposal citing the Supreme Court’s direction that there is no need for a HC bench within 600 km from the principal bench.

The move by the lawyers’ body comes just days after Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has written a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to obtain the approval of the Orissa High Court for setting up the HC benches in western and southern Odisha. After that only, the Centre can give its approval, Rijiju had said in his letter.

However, the bar associations of western and south Odisha have strongly reacted to the move of the HC Bar Association. Nirmal Sahu, a member of Berhampur bar association, strongly condemned the move of the HC Bar Association.

“I am requesting my elder brothers to refrain from the move to divide Odisha. We cannot understand what problem they will face, if permanent benches will be set up in south and western Odisha,” said Ashok Das, Convenor of the Central Action Committee, which is demanding establishment of a HC bench in western Odisha.

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