Orissa HC Lawyers To Boycott Court On June 17, Protest Recommendation Of Ineligible Candidates For Judge Appointment

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06 June 2019

Bikash Sharma

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Cuttack: Lawyers of the Orissa High Court have raised their grievance against the decision of the Collegium in recommending names of certain lawyers who are not regular practitioners of the High Court Bar Association for appointment as Judges.

Orissa High Court has the Judges strength of 27 but at present only 14 judges are there in the High Court of Orissa for which around 1.7 lakhs of cases have been pending in the Orissa High Court and the Justice delivery system in Odisha has come to a standstill position. That, therefore the High Court Bar Association, Odisha Cuttack has been agitating to fill up the vacancies of Judges since last three years.

So far as appointment of High Court Judges are concerned, the Constitution of India Mandates that, a person shall not be qualified for appointment as a judge of a High Court unless he has for at least ten years been an Advocate of a High Court or of two or more such courts in succession which means that, an Advocate practicing law in any particular High Court or other High Court shall only be qualified to be appointed as a judge of said Court.

In this context, the High Court Bar Association had also earlier discussed about the matter with the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court and the Chief Justice had assured the Bar Association that, only a regular practitioner of the High Court will be recommended for being appointed as a judge and the criteria for the collegium for such appointment will be number of cases filed before the High Court and his or her performance in the court.

However, it has now come to the knowledge of the Bar Association that names of certain lawyers have been recommended by collegium of the High Court for appointment as Judges of the Court who have no regular practice in the High Court of Orissa and one of such lawyers has only filed four cases in the said court for the last five years and his appearance in the court is very negligent and it cannot be said that he has 10 years of practice as Advocate in Orissa High Court.

In such process, not only the qualified and competent lawyers of High Court Bar Association have been ignored but also the future prospect of lawyers practicing in Orissa High Court will be at jeopardy.

Therefore, the High Court Bar Association in its General Body meeting has resolved to protest against such decision of the Collegium and it has been further decided to remain absent from the court of Chief Justice and other two judges of the Collegium on the opening of the court on June 17 and the next course of action of such protest will be decided in its next General Body meeting at 1.20 PM on June 17.

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Gopal Krushna Mohanty, President, Orissa High Court Bar Association