Ensure Smooth Functioning of Courts, Offices in W Odisha: HC

In what would come as a major relief to the people of Western Odisha, the Orissa High Court on Wednesday directed the State Chief Secretary and the Director- General of Police to ensure smooth functioning of courts and offices in the region.

The full bench of the court comprising Justice P Mohanty, Justice I Mohanty and Justice S C Parija instructed the State to see to it that the general public, litigants and employees do not face any obstruction in entering and exiting the courts and offices.

As per the earlier orders of the court, the State counsel, on the basis of reports received from the Collectors of the Western Odisha districts, submitted that courts in  different parts of the regions were functioning but work was affected due to the continuing strike by lawyers. The bench has sought further reports from the district judges of 11 districts on the functioning of courts in their jurisdiction by the first week of April. Acting on a petition filed by one Saroj Kumar Padhy and a letter from the District and Sessions Judge, Sambalpur, the court had also initiated contempt proceedings through Registrar (Judicial) and directed the Registrar Administration to submit a status report on the court strikes in Western Odisha.

The petitioner had prayed for declaration of the bandh and strikes across the State illegal as they posed serious problems to the general public. Pensioners were not able to receive their pensions while students faced severe hardships in getting different documents from the offices.

The daily wage earners were not able to manage a square meal as there was no work for them. People were also being deprived of medical services on account of the strike.

He alleged that the State Government had not taken any action to prevent the illegal activities that violated every Rights enshrined under the Constitution.

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