Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Aug 30:
On the second day of their three day long cease-work agitation demanding shifting of Orissa High court from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar, nearly 50 lawyers courted arrest on Friday.
Lawyers also boycotted court work and blocked National Highway 203 by placing burning tyres on the road near Bhubaneswar District and Sessions court here disrupting vehicular movement for several hours.
Arguing that high courts in all other parts of the country were located in the State capitals with the exception of Allahabad High Court in Uttar Pradesh, the lawyers said shifting of the High Court from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar has been a major demand of the bar association here for a long time.
“We will agitate till the fulfilment of our legitimate demands. From Monday, we will participate in court proceedings, but continue the agitation simultaneously. If situation demands, we will seek the support of other Bar associations across the State to press our demand,” said Bhubaneswar Bar Association president Santosh Choudhury.
“On many occasions, we have appealed to the State Government and also made a representation before the Justice CR Pal Commission, set up in March 2008 to assess the feasibility and desirability of establishing a permanent bench or circuit bench of Orissa High Court anywhere in the State. We have been pressing our demand time and again and this is the right time to demand shifting of the High Court to the State capital,” added Choudhury.
Stating that the then Law Minister Narasingha Mishra on March 8, 1991 had informed the State Assembly that in principle the State Government had taken decision to shift the High Court from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar, senior Bar member Sudhir Mohanty urged the State Government to take the initiative to shift the High Court to the capital city.
In the early 1990s, the Government had made an attempt to shift the High Court to the State capital, but had failed.