Western Odisha Lawyers’ Stir: Pending Cases Transferred To Other Districts

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Bhubaneswar: Acting on the directive of the Supreme Court, the Odisha government on Friday began the process for transfer of pending cases to other districts of Western Odisha for their expeditious disposal

These cases could not be tried due to the month-long agitation by the lawyers, demanding permanent High Court bench in their region.

According to a notification by the Law Department, the pending cases of Balangir have been transferred to the court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge in Titlagarh while those in Deogarh district have been transferred to Keonjhar.

Similarly, pending cases in Jharsuguda courts will now be tried in Sundargarh while those of Sambalpur will be disposed of in the courts in Bargarh.

Besides, the cases pending in the courts of Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) in Balangir and Loisingha will now be tried in the JMFC court in Saintala, the notification added.

In response to a letter of the Supreme Court on December 6 last year, expressing serious concern over the continuous abstention of the lawyers from the courts in different parts of Western Odisha, the Orissa High Court on January 14 this year had resolved to confer concurrent jurisdiction in respect to the courts of all cadres of the districts, where the courts are not functioning, either fully or partially, upon the courts of their respective cadre of the adjacent districts where the functioning is normal.

The apex court had requested the High Court to consider identifying the adjacent districts, where persons can seek redressal of their grievances and in which districts there is normal working and create concurrent jurisdiction in those districts and transfer the adequate number of officers from the non-working districts to the working districts for the said purpose.

Acting on the request of the apex court, the High Court had called for feasibility reports from the adjacent districts.

Notably, a division bench of the Supreme Court of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph, while hearing a matter in M/s PLR Projects Private Limited Vrs Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) and others in Transfer Petition(s) (Civil) No(s) 2419 on December 6 last year, had observed: “We are of the view that such selective working is clearly in breach of the duties of an advocate as also breach of directions of this court and thus we expect the Odisha State Bar Council and the Bar Council of India to take appropriate action and place the same before us within two weeks. It is between the Bar Councils to find out the advocates responsible for the situation. At least, the office-bearers are responsible.”

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