BHUBANESWAR: Reiterating the demand for establishment of a permanent bench of High Court in Western Odisha, a 15-member delegation of the central action committee of Western Odisha Lawyers’ Association met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Monday and urged his early intervention.
After the meeting, committee convener Ashok Das told mediapersons that neither the State Government nor the Centre has taken any tangible steps in this regard since 2014.
“We urged the CM to constitute a high-level committee to take up the issue with the Law and Justice Ministry. The CM assured us that he will write a strongly-worded letter to the Centre and take necessary steps for setting up a permanent HC bench,” Das said.
Stating that strong political will is required for setting up a HC bench in Western Odisha, committee spokesperson Sureswar Mishra said it is the responsibility of Odisha MPs to ensure that a debate on this issue is started in Parliament and a Bill passed in the ongoing session.
Sambalpur BJD MLA Dr Raseswari Panigrahi, who accompanied the delegation, said the CM had written a letter to the Centre in 2013 to accept the proposal for a permanent HC bench in Western Odisha. In reply to his letter, the Centre had sought a clarification from the Orissa High Court. However, neither has the HC given any clarification nor has the Centre taken any follow-up action in this regard, she said.
On the other hand, national secretary of BJP Suresh Pujari said the State Government should submit a composite proposal to the Centre on the expenses involved in setting up of a permanent High Court bench and its recurring expenses in the appointment of judges and employees besides the areas which would come under the jurisdiction of the bench. Acting on the proposal, the Centre will take all the necessary steps, he said.