Bhubaneswar, Sep 28 :
Ahead of Justice CR Pal’s final report in the matter, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday evening recommended the proposal for the creation of two high court benches in southern and western Odisha.
While official sources remained tight-lipped, the information that the chief minister had already recommended the creation of two permanent benches of the High Court in South and West Odisha was discreetly leaked to the leaders of the Central Action Committee (CAC) of the western Odisha lawyers through a senior minister in the Naveen Patnaik cabinet.
Incidentally, the CAC was supposed to meet Sunday to decide on the future course of their month-long agitation.
The chief minister’s recommendatory letter for creation of two benches is being seen as a ‘shrewd move’ which while appeasing the agitating lawyers in both western and southern Odisha promises nothing to anyone on the preferred locations for the proposed benches.
“The ambiguous posturing by the state government is designed to extract maximum political mileage for the ruling party by driving a wedge between rival bar associations- in both southern and western Odisha – over the possible locations for the proposed benches”, said a senior high court lawyer who did not wish to be named.
” The biggest beneficiary of this murky game will be none other than the chief minister Naveen Patnaik who excels in the art of fishing in troubled waters”, he said.
The senior lawyer said, by recommending the benches, Naveen Patnaik has put the ball in the Centre’s court and can now blame it for anything and everything that goes wrong with regard to its implementation.
“This would also be in line with BJD’s politics of Centre-bashing and put it in a win-win situation vis a vis the contentious issue”,he said.