HC lawyers protest govt stand on benches

Cuttack, Oct 1:

Annoyed over the state government’s recommendation for benches of the Odisha High Court in western and southern parts, the lawyers of the Odisha High Court Bar Association on Monday resolved to fight it ‘tooth and nail’ legally and administratively.

The government move was chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s regional appeasement policy, the Association said at its general body meeting which decided to petition the union law minister against the CM’s letter of recommendation for setting up the HC benches.

It also agreed to move a writ petition in the High Court challenging the government’s move on the ground that it had ignored the legalities and technicalities governing it.

Condemning the chief minister’s letter of recommendation to the union law minister, the Association said the move was ‘highly illegal and in-appropriate’ as the High Court in several previous judgments had turned down the constitution of more benches.

Moreover, no place in the state was fit to house any permanent bench of the High Court as per the Yasobant Singh Committee report, the association said and questioned the recommendation as the judicial commission set up by the government itself was yet to give its report.

The Commission is hearing the issue on day-to-day basis in view of the government’s direction to expedite it. But the government has completely ignored the commission making it irrelevant, the association said.

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