Daily Archives: April 27, 2012

Lawyers stay away from court as judicial activities hampered

Judicial activities across Odisha were affected today as lawyers abstained from judicial and administrative courts, including the High Court, following a call given by the Orissa High Court Bar Association. The apex body of lawyers in the state had on Thursday appealed to their fraternity to stay away from court work till Monday in protest against what they called ‘inept handling of Sambalpur issue by the state government,’ among other things.

The police had yesterday arrested 18 lawyers in Sambalpur basing on the FIR filed by the district collector Mrilanini Darswal who was allegedly manhandled by advocates. “According to reports reaching here, lawyers across the did not attend any of the judicial or administrative courts on the day,” said the High Court Bar Association Secretary Piyush Mishra. Courts will remain closed for the next two days on account of Lawyers? Day and Sunday and the next course of action would be decided on Monday morning after evaluating the report of the fact-finding team of lawyers currently visiting Sambalpur, Mishra said.

Meanwhile, a seven-member-fact-finding team headed by High Court Bar Association president Jayant Das and members of State Bar Council and All Odisha Lawyers? Forum here went to Sambalpur on the day and held discussions with all stakeholders over the Monday?s incident involving lawyers and the district collector. The decision to send the fact-finding team was taken by a joint meeting of the three lawyers? bodies after forming a joint coordination committee on Thursday.

18 lawyers arrested for Manhandling collector

The face-off between Sambalpur District Bar Association (SDBA) and District Collector Mrinalini Darswal is all set to snowball into a major controversy after Sambalpur Police arrested 18 lawyers on Thursday.

However, the lawyers were produced before the SDJM and released on personal bond. Reports said the SDBA members boycotted courts and closed all government offices in the morning demanding establishment of High Court bench. The police arrested them on way to the collectorate. The arrests followed an FIR lodged by the Collector and District Sub-Registrar (DSR).

Tension gripped Sadar Court office where the arrested lawyers were kept with their colleagues shouting slogans against alleged? highhandedness and autocratic attitude of Darswal and the police.

Additional SP Dilip Kumar Deo said 16 out of 18 lawyers were arrested on the basis of the FIR lodged by the Collector. Four were mentioned in the FIR lodged by the DSR. Two lawyers have been named in both the cases, he added.? Condemning the arrest, SDBA president Pramod Rath said they were holding a peaceful rally when the police arrested them. He demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.

RAYAGADA: A peace rally to protest the attack of Sambalpur Collector Mrinalini Darswal was taken out here on Thursday.

All government officials, including District Collector Nitin Bhanudas Jawale and ADM Biranchi Narayan Rath, participated.

18 lawyers arrested for collector ‘assault’

Police on Thursday morning arrested 18 lawyers of Sambalpur, including the president and the secretary of the bar association, for their involvement in the assault on Sambalpur collector Mrinalini Darswal on Monday.

They were granted bail later in the afternoon by the Judicial Magistrate. Police identified them as Pramod Rath (bar association president) Bijitendriya Pradhan (secretary), senior member Paresh Sharma, Barada Madhab Guru, Pradeep Bohidar, Sabbir Ahmed, Abhaya Nayak, Arabind Nayak, Rangeya Sarangi, Suraj Biswal, Rabi Pujari, Dilip Bishi, Dinesh Pandey, Mahendra Badhai, Saroj Beura, Chandrakant Mahanty, Rajib Sathpathy and Sanjib Sarangi.

“We have arrested 18 lawyers on Tuesday for their involvement in two incidents of assault on the Sambalpur collector and the district sub-registrar. While 16 lawyers were involved in the first incident, four were involved in the second incident. Two lawyers were present during both the attacks,” additional SP (Sambalpur) Dilip Kumar Deo said.

Members of the bar association staged a demonstration in front of the court room after the lawyers were arrested. The lawyers felt police took the step under pressure from the government. “When cases have been registered against both sides, police arrested only the advocates. This is totally unjustified,” senior lawyer Sureswar Mishra said.

Later, the arrested lawyers came in a procession from the residence of SDJM Malabika Bhuyan after being released on bail. “She was pleased to grant us bails in the afternoon,” president of the bar association Pramod Rath said.

According to senior lawyers of the Sambalpur bar, the SDJM took liberal attitude towards advocates while granting them bail as a case was already pending against the complainant of the case. “The lawyers are officers of the court. I know them personally. They are peace lovers. As revealed from the case record and mentioned by their lawyer, a case has been initiated against the collector too. So I am inclined to release them on bail,” a senior lawyer of Sambalpur said quoting the SDJM. The incident has triggered widespread tension among lawyers of the state. Several bar associations including those from the high court have decided to stage ‘cease work’ protesting against the arrest of the lawyers.

Matric exam concludes, over 10,000 held for cheating in Odisha

It seems the efforts of the Board of Secondary Education to check malpractices in the matriculation exam have yielded results, with 10,015 students booked for cheating this year. This is the highest number of examinees ever caught for using unfair means in the matriculation examinations. The examinations got over on Thursday.

Last year, 7,000 students were booked for malpractices, while in 2010, the figure was 2,046. This year, around 6,372 examinees were booked for malpractice in regular stream and the rest were ex-regular examinees. Board officials said the maximum number of cheating cases was reported from Sambalpur central zone. Board officials have expressed concern over the rising number of malpractice cases.

“This year a record number of students have been booked. The figures themselves speak about the gravity of the problem, malpractice in matriculation exam has become a deep rooted problem,” said Satyakam Mishra, president of the board. The students booked for malpractice will be debarred from appearing in matriculation exam for three years.

Apart from the students, the board has also decided to take stringent action against 14 invigilators and six centre superintendents who were found guilty of abetting malpractice.

“We have written to the state government to take stringent action against the invigilators and centre superintendents who were found abetting malpractice,” said Nihar Mohapatra, board secretary.

Evaluation of answer sheets will begin from May 1 and will continue till May 15. Answer scripts will be corrected at 71 centres across the state and more than 21,000 teachers will be involved in the process.

The board has decided to transport the answer sheets directly to the evaluation centres from the examination centres to avoid wastage of time.

“Earlier answer sheets were collected at a receiving centre and from there they were sent to evaluation centres. In the process, seven days were lost, so this time we have decided to transport the answer sheets directly from the exam centre to evaluation point,” said Mishra.

Board officials have informed that the results would be out by first week of July. This year atleast 5.11 lakh students appeared for the matriculation examination at 2,261 centres across the state. Over 122 flying squads were formed to keep vigil on these centres.

The matriculation examination had started on March 19, but on March 21, question papers of seven subjects were stolen from an exam centre, Bhagabati Vidyapitha, in Puri district following which the exam was stalled . The exam resumed on April 17 and concluded on Thursday.

Centre nod to Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation’s concrete plans for Rangamatia slum

The dingy Rangamatia slum in Bhubaneswar will soon be replaced by impressive concrete houses, as part of a 44-crore project of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC). The Centre has approved the plan and would release funds under its Rajiv Awas Yojna (RAY) scheme.

“The ministry of housing & urban poverty alleviation of the central government has approved our project report and would release funds soon,” BMC commissioner Vishal Dev said.

The Rajiv Awas Yojna envisages provision of concrete houses and other basic urban facilities to slum dwellers. The government would build concrete houses, roads, drinking water lines, toilets, community schools and bus stands.

Around 400 households would get the benefits of the scheme in five slum clusters of Rangamatia, sources said. However, more than 500 households exist in the area, sources added.

Rangamatia would be the first slum in Odisha to see development under RAY. A total of six cities have been identified to be covered under the echeme in the state. Those are Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Berhampur, Rourkela and Sambalpur, sources said.

Rangamatia corporator (ward no. 7) Madan Majhi said living standard of the poor would definitely improve. “But I doubt whether actual beneficiaries have been included in the list. The surveyors did not take me into confidence while identifying the beneficiaries,” he added.

All the slum clusters of the area were studied with the help of satellite data to discern the exact use of land and the type of houses, including the members of each family. After profiling the slum clusters, a baseline data was generated to find out about the probable requirement of the residents.

The BMC commissioner said around 143 volunteers have been selected to help BMC carry out community mobilization programmes in slum clusters of Rangamatia. “BMC was the first urban local body in the country that submitted a draft slum-free city plan of action to the Centre,” Dev added.

The city has 377 slums in all, including 99 authorised ones. The centre-sponsored scheme would be implemented in all the 377 slums. Sources said the Bhubaneswar Development Authority had recently sent detailed project reports for Mahisakhal and Patharbandha slums. Likewise, BMC is waiting for Centre’s approval for projects relating Panda Kudia slum, Jalimunda sahi and Mandap slum.