CUTTACK: With continued abstention of court work by lawyers in some districts of the State, the Orissa High Court has started the process for facilitating litigants to seek redressal of their grievances in the courts in adjacent districts.
On December 6, 2019, the Supreme Court had asked the High Court to identify courts in adjacent districts, where there is normal working and create concurrent jurisdiction for the cases. It had also directed transfer of adequate number of officers from the non-working districts to the working districts for the said purpose.
"Consequently, the High Court of Orissa resolved on January 13 to confer concurrent jurisdiction in respect to the courts of all cadres of the districts/places, where the Courts are not functioning, either fully or partially, upon the Courts of their respective cadre of the adjacent districts/places, where the functioning of the Courts is normal," Registrar General Radha Krushna Pattnaik said in a notification on Monday, indicating implementation of the Supreme Court order.
The High Court had already called for feasibility reports from the adjacent districts, the notification said.
The Orissa HC had on January 10 sought two weeks more time to implement the order. The HC had further informed the SC that lawyers in some parts of the State were abstaining from court work on certain number of days every month or only allowing bail and injunction matters to be taken up.
The Apex Court had ordered: “The aforesaid is completely unacceptable situation. Trials on the civil and criminal side must go on. We thus call upon the High Court to implement what we had set out in December 6, 2019 order even if selective work is being done or lawyers are abstaining from work on specified days.”
The two-judge bench of Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph had further observed: "We are of the view that such selective working is clearly in breach of the duties of an advocate as also breach of directions of this Court and thus we expect the State Bar Council and Bar Council of India to take appropriate action and place the same before us within two weeks." The Supreme Court has posted the matter to February 17 to take stock of the situation.
The Supreme Court asked the High Court to identify courts in adjacent districts, where there is normal working and create concurrent jurisdiction for the cases
January 10, 2020
HC seeks two weeks more time to implement the order
January 13, 2020
HC resolves to confer concurrent jurisdiction in respect to the courts of all cadres of the districts/places, where the Courts are not functioning