Taking ahead their agitation demanding a permanent bench of the Orissa High Court, hundreds of lawyers from across western Odisha under the banner of Central Action Committee (CAC) of Western Odisha Bar Association (WOBA) on Monday gheraoed the office of the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (northern division).
Tension ran high at the RDC office for some time after the agitating lawyers of 32 Bar Associations of the region turned down the offer of Sambalpur Collector PK Rath to hold discuss with them. They insisted on discussion with the RDC himself . Subsequently, the RDC G Srinivas reached the spot and assured the agitating lawyers that he would convey their demand to the State Government.
Convener of CAC Ashok Dash said the permanent bench of the High Court has been a long pending demand of the lawyers and people of the region but unfortunately the State Government is sitting over the issue. Stating that the lawyers from across the region had collectively decided on April 30, 2006 to authorise the Government to take a decision on the location, Dash said instead of taking a final call on the issue, the Government is trying to put the lawyers of the region against each other. Stating that their agitation had reached a decisive stage and they have resolved to intensify it in coming days, he cautioned the Government that it would be held responsible in case of any law and order problem.
Although the demand for establishment of a Circuit Court, which later turned into a permanent bench of the High Court, was made after Independence, successive Governments have been dilly-dallying on the demand. After sustained agitation since 2006, the State Government instituted Pal Commission in 2008 with assurance to resolve the issue within six months. Though more than four years have passed, no decision has been been yet.However, the lawyers are demanding that the State Government should send a proposal to the Union Government over the issue and wind up the Pal Commission as it has proved to be a white elephant and failed to submit a report on the issue.Earlier, the lawyers took out a rally from Laxmi Talkies Chowk to the office of the RDC.