Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Sep 9:
The demand for a permanent bench of the High Court in the western Odisha town of Balangir gathered further strength after a delegation of the Balangir Bar Association accompanied by the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Narasingh Mishra met the Odisha High Court Chief Justice Amitava Roy here on Monday and urged him to consider Balangir as the most suitable place for a permanent bench of the High Court.
Mishra, a former president of the Balangir Bar Association told newsmen after the meeting that the chief Justice assured the delegation that he (CJ) would take a decision in this matter keeping in view the interest of the state and its people.
Mishra, who represents the Balangir assembly constituency, said “The meeting with the Chief Justice was cordial. Balangir is one of the poorest districts in the state and its people being poor are unable to approach the High Court because of the distance and the cost of travel etc. Therefore, a permanent bench at Balangir will be of great benefit the poor people of the district and other neighbouring districts as well”.
Moreover, he said, Balangir Bar has one of the best libraries in the state.
The Balangir Bar association President, general secretary and four other executive body members of the Association were part of the delegation that met the Chief Justice.
Mishra pointed out that since the state government and the Central government have decided in principle to set up a permanent bench of the High Court in Western Odisha, all efforts now should be made to set up the same in Balangir. He said Balangir meets all the criteria set by the Union government appointed Justice Jaswant Singh Commission to look into the feasibility of the demand for establishment of high court bench outside the principal seat.
Mishra also pointed out that Balangir and Baripada have earlier served as Circuit benches of Patna High Court before the Orissa High Court was set up in Cuttack in 1948.