Patnaik writes to Centre for establishment of HC Benches

Bhubaneswar: Amid mounting protests for establishment of High Court benches in southern and western part of Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday wrote a letter to Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, requesting to expedite the formal process for setting up the High Court benches.

In the letter to the Law Minister, Patnaik said, “Establishment of permanent benches of Odisha High Court is necessary to mitigate the inconvenience faced by the litigants in this southern and western region of the state.”

“I had further conveyed the assurance of the state government to provide adequate resources for the establishment of the high court benches in these areas,” he further said.

The Chief Minister said that 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 Jaswant Singh for the establishment of bench of High Court away from its principal seat.

“In our view, there is adequate justification for the 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,” Patnaik said.

Patnaik, in his letter, stated that the parliament has the prerogative to establish such benches in an 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 the high court in western and southern Odisha be taken by the Government of India to fulfil the aspirations of the people of these regions,” his letter read.