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HC Bench Issue: BJP, Congress Flay Odisha Govt For Lingering Decision, Ruling BJD Optimistic

30 August 2019

Debashish Maharana

Bhubaneswar: A day after the State Government reconstituted the committee meant for examining all aspects of establishing the Permanent Bench of Orissa High Court amid the long standing demand and agitations by the lawyers of both southern and western Odisha, opposition BJP and Congress today criticized it as an alibi to further linger the issue while ruling BJD is hopeful of a final decision soon.   

In his reactions, senior BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik said, “Earlier there was a committee headed by the State Home Secretary. But, that committee lay defunct. Now the Odisha Government has reconstituted a committee headed by DC (Development Commissioner). I think the State Government has planned to further linger the issue because the southern and western regions have been demanding for the High Court Bench in their respective region.”

He argued, “When the Union Law Minister has asked to identify a place for establishing the proposed High Court Bench, the State Government has now started finding out the required place in both the regions. The Government has the power and right to demarcate land and the place for establishment of the High Court Bench. It is possible in only one place as the Principal Seat of High Court is at Cuttack and another Bench can be established.”

“By doing so, the Government is stoking another dispute in Odisha. I feel that our State Government isn’t interested in establishing the High Court Bench. The reconstituted committee headed by DC is a ploy to further linger the process,” he remarked.

Senior Congress MLA from southern Odisha region Tara Prasad Bahinipati reacted, “The committee is just an eyewash. It’s meant for cheating the lawyers and the people. Previously, there was a committee headed by the Home Secretary. Now it has been reconstituted and headed by the DC. There is no time limit. It’s all valueless as the matter is already lingering for the last four years.”

“The State Government should take action basing on the report of Jaswant Singh Commission,” he demanded.

On the contrary, senior BJD MLA Kishore Mohanty defended, “The committee will submit its report to the Government as decision will be taken thereafter. This committee was very essential. I thank the Government for having reconstituted it. I hope it will soon submit its report.”

“The present committee is a full-fledged one while the previous one was only headed by our incumbent Chief Secretary. Order has been passed that all the members will look into the geographical status. They will tour both the western and southern regions of Odisha. The Government has the aim to establish the High Court Bench,” he claimed.

Pradipta Naik, Leader of Opposition, Odisha

Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Senior Congress MLA, Odisha

Kishore Mohanty, Senior MLA, BJD