23 October 2019
Bhubaneswar: Dissatisfied over the logjam in the judicial system in Odisha due to continuous lawyers' strike across the State over various issues including the demands for establishment of High Court benches, the Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that police or paramilitary forces can be deployed to restore smooth functioning of the courts.
Following a petition filed by a private company seeking transfer of its case from the Orissa High Court due to non-functioning of the court in view of the ongoing cease-work agitation by the Orissa High Court Bar Association, a two-judge bench of the apex court comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph on Tuesday sought a reply from the Orissa High Court in this regard.
While the hearing of the case is scheduled to October 24, the apex court has issued some directions so that the lawyers join the court proceedings and the situation will be normalised, said counsel Sibo Mishra representing the Orissa High Court.
“To say the least, this is completely unacceptable. The working of the judicial system cannot be brought to a standstill. We are of the view that adequate security arrangements must be made to keep the temple of justice open. We have inquired from the learned counsel as to what steps have been taken by the High Court towards the said objective and whether the local police are in a position to ensure the same, failing which para-military forces would have to be deployed for which directions can be issued to the central government,” the bench observed.
Advocate Mishra said the Supreme Court has observed this for entire Odisha as lawyers in different parts of the State are resorting to strike for years together. Therefore, the apex court found that the entire judicial system in Odisha is affected and prima facie considered to take help of police or paramilitary forces so that the courts can function.
Meanwhile, the Orissa High Court Bar Association president Gopal Krushna Mohanty has alleged that Mishra is misleading the Supreme Court about the situation in the High Court and the association will file a contempt case against him in this regard.
In reaction, Mishra said whatever he is submitting in the Supreme Court is not his personal view but on the instruction of the High Court. He questioned how a lawyer can mislead the court.