As the agitating lawyers of Western Odisha intensified stir demanding establishment of a permanent bench of the High Court in their region, Finance minister Prasanna Acharya today said the state government have not denied the idea.
"The state government can write a letter favouring establishment of a bench of the High Court in western region without waiting for the final report of the C R Pal Commission of Inquiry. The state government is ready to write to the Centre," Acharya, who represents Rairakhol segment in Sambalpur district in Western Odisha said.
Stating that the state government has not denied to accept the demands of the agitating lawyers, Acharya, one of the vice-presidents of the ruling BJD, said the government is not adverse to establishment of more High Court benches in the state.
Acharya's statement came a day after the talk between the agitating lawyers and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik failed to break the deadlock on the ongoing strike in the 10 western Odisha districts. All the government offices and judicial courts remained closed since August 20 as the lawyers body, supported by all political parties, ensured no official and and judicial activities in the region.
The lawyers today staged demonstration before office of the revenue divisional commissioner (RDC) at Sambalpur and launched relay hunger strike while opposition Congress activists blockade National Highway-53 for about 90 minutes supporting establishment of a high court bench in the western region.
Patnaik during his talks with lawyers yesterday had said that the state government would consult constitutional experts before writing to the Central government. The Chief Minister had also informed a delegation that the state government would request Justice CR Pal to submit its report within 60 days while the Central Action Committee (CAC) of the lawyers body demanded scraping of the commission.
However, the lawyers body rejected Patnaik's statement and criticised him for not addressing their five-decade long old demand. "We hoped that Patnaik will solve the problem. But, he did not respond to the cause of the problem," said CAC convenor Ashok Das.
Supporting the lawyers demand, the state unit of BJP today asked the Chief Minister to pass a resolution in the assembly favouring establishment of a High Court bench in western region. "If required, the Chief Minister may take an all party delegation to the Prime Minister to demand sanction of a permanent bench in western region," said BJP spokesman Suresh Pujari.
Meanwhile, the state government today received reports from Balasore, Baripada, Kalahandi and other places where lawyers have already launched agitation demanding establishment of bench of the High Court in their respective areas.
The state government, sources said, have been waiting the report of the CR Pal Commission which is set up to determine the place for establishment of a permanent bench of High Court in the state.