Western Odisha bandh: Kalahandi lawyers won’t take part but stay away from court 

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Bhawanipatna: Lawyers in Kalahandi district will not be participating in the Western Odisha bandh February 5, convened by the lawyers’ association of Western Odisha, in protest against Orissa High Court’s proposed move for disciplinary action against the bar associations in the region agitating over High Court bench demand, a report said Tuesday.

This was stated here by advocate Bhabendra Kumar Panda, president of Kalahandi Bar Association, Tuesday. Panda said that the lawyers in the district will not participate in the bandh but will stay away from court work as part of their moral support to the bandh. The decision to not participate in the bandh was decided in a general body meeting held January 30.

Panda added that the lawyers in Kalahandi will not participate in the bandh as the name of the Kalahandi Bar Association does not figure in the list published by Orissa High Court for disciplinary action. Moreover, the Kalahandi Bar association has also informed the Orissa High Court in an affidavit that they will not disrupt the court works.

Earlier, a meeting of the bar members was held at Bolangir to discuss the bandh call but the Kalahandi Bar Association was not invited. Later, a delegation of the Bolangir and Sambalpur Bars visited Bhawanipatna Monday and urged the lawyers to support the bandh.

In view of this, a meeting of the lawyers was held Tuesday where it was decided not to participate in the bandh but to stay away from court works during the period, Panda added. The Kalahandi Bar will also oppose the proposed disciplinary action against the members of other bars, Aswini Kumar Dash, the association’s secretary said.

Notably, acting on the direction of the Supreme Court and also on the recommendation of the Bar Council of India (BCI), the Orissa High Court has warned to take disciplinary action against the members of the bar association in Western Odisha who have been agitating since last several years for establishment of a permanent bench of the High Court in the Western Odisha region.

The lawyers’ unending stir has crippled the judiciary and the justice delivery system in the region. As a result, piles of cases are lying in various courts without being disposed off due to the cease-work agitation of the lawyers.

The Kalahandi Bar Association is also participating in the agitation and staging sit-in before the Madhu Babu statue in the district and sessions judge courts on the last Monday of every month.

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