Centre Seeks Details For Setting Up 2 HC Benches From Odisha Govt Again

Bhubaneswar: The Centre has again sought details on infrastructure and consent of Orissa High Court (HC) for setting up HC benches from Odisha government.

In a letter to chief minister Naveen Patnaik on April 20, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has asked the state government to hold consultation with Chief Justice of Orissa High Court S Muralidhar to seek permission and make provisions of land and buildings for setting up high court benches and accommodation of judges and other staff in western and southern Odisha.

“Once the state government communicates the proposal, along with the consent of the High Court, the Union government would take further action,” TOI quoted the letter as stating.

The Law department forwarded the copies of the letter to the Home department and the High Court on Saturday.

In his response to Rijiju’s letter, Labour Minister Sushant Singh on Sunday told the media persons that the state government has already submitted details regarding land and other infrastructure for setting up benches.

“If the Centre wants, it can set up benches in any part of the state. We have already submitted necessary details regarding infrastructure in 10 districts. The Centre is deliberately delaying the matter to create a confusion,” he said.

This is for the second times in the last two years that the Centre has asked the state government to submit the proposal for setting up the HC benches. In a letter to BJD’s Rajya Sabha member Prasanna Acharya in October 2020, then Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said the Centre had not received any communication from the Odisha government informing about infrastructure for the benches.

“It is not possible for the Centre to establish the benches without a concrete proposal and approval of the High Court,” Prasad said in the letter after Acharya raised the issue in Rajya Sabha in February same year.

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