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Hope Renews For HC Bench

Bhubaneswar: Hope for establishment of a permanent bench of High Court of Orissa in Western Odisha renewed as the Government of India will consider the demand after receiving a complete proposal from the Odisha Government.

Senior BJP leader and Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari had raised the issue of demand of setting up a permanent bench of High Court of Orissa in western part of Odisha during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha on December 21, 2022.

Shri Pujari has received a letter on Tuesday from Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju in response to the issue raised in the Lower House.

In his response to Shri Pujari, the Union Minister said that the High Court benches, at a place other than its principal seat, are established in accordance with the recommendations made by the Jaswant Singh Commission and judgment pronounced by the Apex Court in W.P.(C) No.379 of 2000.

The Bench can be set up after due consideration of a complete proposal from the State Government incorporating readiness to provide infrastructure and meet the expenditure, along with the consent of the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court and the consent of the Governor of the concerned State, he said.

Shri Rijiju informed that the State Government of Odisha has requested for setting up of Orissa High Court Benches in Western and Southern region of Odisha.

Following which, the Central Government has requested the State Government, time and again, to work out details of proposed Benches including its location in consultation with High Court of Orissa, the recent being vide letter dated April 7, 2022. However, no response has been received yet, he said.

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

The Union Minister reiterated that the State Government along with the Orissa High Court needs to work out details including provision of land, building of 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 Government of India will take further necessary action, he added.

Notably, the Supreme Court, in December last, had rejected the demands of advocates for violence during protest by advocates during a protest in Sambalpur.

Hearing the case, a bench of Justices SK Kaul and AS Oka of the SC has observed the demand for establishing a permanent bench of the High Court in Western Odisha seems to have become a “prestige issue”, while noting there was no justification for having another bench of the HC in view of the widespread use of technology in the functioning of courts.

“There is no high hope of formation of a bench, much less any hope now. Even if there was some remote possibility, that is lost now due to their conduct,” the Apex Court had observed.