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Bench Ball In State Court

Bhubaneswar: The Union Government once again puts the balls on the State’s court over establishment of division benches of the Orissa High Court in Western and Southern Odisha.

Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju has recently replied to the letter of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik written on September 10, 2018 to the then Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

In his letter, Mr.Rijiju requested the CM to have necessary consultations with the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court and work out the details including provision of land, building for High Court and residential accommodation for Judges and staff of the proposed Bench.

“Once the State Government communicates the proposal along with the consent of the High Court, the Union Government would take further necessary action,” he said.

The proposals for setting up a bench of a High Court is to be made in line with recommendations made by the Jaswant Singh Commission and judgment pronounced by the Supreme Court on WP(C) No. 379 of 2000, pointed out by the Union Law Minister.

The proposals have to be sent by the concerned State Government, on whom the onus lies to provide infrastructure and meet other expenditure after obtaining the consent of the concerned High Court, which has the responsibility of the day-to-day ministration of the Principal Seat of the High Court and its benches, he informed in the letter.

“It is urged that an early decision regarding establishment of permanent benches of High Court in Western and Southern Odisha be taken by the Government of India to fulfil the aspirations of the people of these regions,” the Chief Minister had said in his letter to Mr.Prasad.

He also assured that the state government would provide adequate resources for the establishment of the High Court Benches in these areas.

The Parliament has the prerogative to establish such benches in exercise of its power under Entry-78 of the Union List.

During the Budget Session of Parliament, the Union Minister had stated that the State Government is yet to submit a complete proposal for setting up of division benches of the HC in Western and Southern Odisha.

At present, no proposal regarding setting up of the bench (es) of Orissa High Court is pending with the Government, he had clarified.

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