Reported by Chinmaya Dehury/ Edited by Swetaparna Mohanty
Bhubaneswar, Aug 19 :
While leaders of all political parties in Jharsuguda and Sambalpur districts have announced their joint decision to boycott urban polls to be held on September 19 in support of the lawyers’ demand for establishment of a permanent bench of the Odisha High Court in Western Odisha, senior Congress leader Narasingh Mishra on Monday urged the Odisha government to recommend to the Centre for a permanent bench as a mark of respect to the long standing demand of people in Western Odisha.
Mishra said that his party will soon submit a petition to the Odisha Governor in the matter.
“There is constitutional crisis after the decision to boycott the urban polls in the region. Besides, people’s right to justice is being affected due to the disruption in the functioning of the courts every month as lawyers have been repeatedly demanding a permanent bench of the HC. However, the Odisha government has been a mute spectator without taking any steps in this regard. It should recommend to the Centre for a permanent bench immediately,” said Mishra at a press conference here.
Accusing the state government of not trying to discuss the issue with the lawyers’ association s , the senior Congress leader said Veerappa Moily during his visit to western Odisha as Union Law minister had assured that the Centre will consider the demand, if the state government recommends it.
“Even though the Centre has made its stand clear, the state government, which is harping on Central neglect in just every field, has conveniently chosen not to back the long standing demand of the region,” Mishra said.
Reacting to State Election Commissioner’s statement that the state government can nominate candidates in the SC/ST reserved wards if election is not held, he said the interpretation of law by the SEC is wrong and sought a review of his decision.
Lawyers of Jharsuguda and Sambalpur districts have decided to go on strike from August 20-27 while district wings of all the political parties including BJP, BJD and Congress have extended their support to the lawyers’ agitation for a permanent bench of the HC in Western Odisha.