Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday urged the Centre to take quick steps for establishment of permanent High Court benches in western and southern regions of the state to fulfil the aspirations of the people of these regions.
In a letter to Union law and justice minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the CM asked him to refer to his earlier letters dated 28.09.2013 and 13.02.2014, wherein he had requested that steps be taken for establishment of HC benches in western and southern Odisha. “There has been persistent demand from the people of these regions for setting up permanent benches of Orissa High Court to mitigate the inconvenience faced by the litigants,” the CM said.
“I had further conveyed the assurance of the state government to provide adequate resources for establishment of the high court benches in these areas,” Patnaik said in his letter, copies of which were released to media. The views of the Orissa High Court on our recommendation have not materialised so far, he said adding it is learnt from the response received from the Centre vide a letter dated 7.10.2015 that the Orissa High Court is seized with the process of examination of statistics regarding the number of cases originating from various regions. Patnaik said the state government is aware of the various decisions of the Supreme Court including the case of Federation of Bar Association of Karnataka vs Union of India and others as well as the recommendation of the Commission headed by Justice Jasswant Singh for establishment of the bench of a High Court away from its principal seat.
“In our view, there is adequate justification for establishment of permanent benches of Orissa High Court in the western and southern parts of Odisha and the criteria laid down by Justice Jaswant Singh Commission are also substantially met,” the CM said. He said the Parliament has the prerogative to establish such benches in exercise of its powers under Entry-78 if the Union List. “In the above context, it is urged that an early decision regarding establishment of permanent benches of HC in western and southern Odisha be taken by the government of India to fulfil the aspirations of the people of these regions,” Patnaik said.