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Stung by SC rap, Odisha govt to to depute judicial officer in Delhi to handle cases


Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 15:

Chastened by the recent admonition of the Supreme Court in a case related to the uploading of sex videos on internet platforms, the Odisha government has decided to depute a senior official of the Odisha Judicial Service (OJS) or a retired OJS official or an official in the rank of additional secretary to New Delhi for proper handling and coordination of cases pending in the Supreme Court, National Green Tribunal (NGT) and Delhi High Court.

Supreme Court

The apex court, it may be noted, had imposed a fine of Rs 50, 000 on the Odisha government for its failure to depute a counsel for hearing in the sex video case on March 13. When the court found that there were no counsels representing the Odisha government at the next hearing on March 20 too, it ordered the chief secretary to be personally present at the next hearing. Chief secretary GC Pati made a personal appearance as per the orders of the court on April 6.

A Litigation Management Cell is already in place under the State Resident Commissioner’s office in New Delhi. But the government is of the view that a senior official with adequate knowledge and experience in handling legal matters needs to be posted in the national capital to make the Cell more active and accountable, official sources said.

The advocate-on-record, after reviewing and supervising all cases, would apprise the concerned official of the status and development of each case. Besides, he would also work in coordination with the concerned departments of the state government.

The concerned official would analyse the special leave petition (SLP) and other petitions before they are filed by the advocate-on-record in the Supreme Court.

Apart from this, the state government officials would consult the official on the status of cases pending in the apex court.

The official, in the presence of the advocate-on-record, would discuss and analyse various aspects of the cases.

For proper functioning of the Cell, the state government has decided to appoint a deputy project coordinator, a data entry operator and some class IV employees, official sources said.