Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court (SC) today directed the Odisha police to take stringent action against the lawyers who were indulged in vandalism on the court premises in Sambalpur during an agitation seeking a permanent bench of Orissa High Court in the western part of the state.
A bench of Justice SK Kaul and Justice AS Oka directed the Director General of Police (DGP) in Odisha and the police officer in-charge of Sambalpur district to depose before the apex court through videoconferencing on December 14 (Wednesday) and apprise the court regarding the steps taken against the agitating lawyers.
The bench passed the order after watching videos from the protest wherein it was shown to the apex court that the court premises in Sambalpur district was vandalized by the agitating lawyers.
It was also informed the SC that all computers and videoconferencing facilities on the court premises were damaged during the agitation.
“We will put all of them into custody. No solution. If a thousand people need to be arrested let them be arrested. We don’t care. If this is what you do we are not going to hear,” said the bench to the counsel of agitating lawyers when the latter made a submission for finding a solution to the issue.
It was submitted before the apex court that the functioning of the district court in Sambalpur has come to a standstill due to the lawyers’ agitation.
“Lawyers have lost their privilege. Police are expected to take action. Why are the police making polite conversations with them? If the police are not able to control it, we will send the paramilitary. Please tell us whether you are able to handle it or not. Tell us. We want action by the day after tomorrow. Is it clear? Please put it up before the state government,” remarked Justice Kaul while expressing displeasure over the failure of police to take action against the protesting lawyers.
He further said, “There is a view that some people want SC benches somewhere. What is the size of your state? Today with technology available, what is the issue? We will never allow a bench to set up in a place like this. We will intervene if that is the case. Such lawyers do not deserve it. The bench should not be there at all. If required, we will put them behind the bars and pass orders to the effect that they cannot get out even on bail until charges area framed.”