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Lawyers demand judge transfer

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 14: The advocates of Bhubaneswar Bar Association today refrained from taking part in the judicial activities of the court of additional district judge-cum-special judge, vigilance, Diptimayee Mohapatra for her alleged misbehaviour with a lawyer yesterday.

Litigants suffered as the advocates boycotted Mohapatra’s court today demanding her transfer from the district and sessions court, Khurda, in Bhubaneswar to somewhere else.

“I did not know about the lawyers boycotting this court. I had been summoned in a vigilance case to give my witness statement. Now I have to wait for another date,” said S. Naik, a litigant.

The law practitioners submitted a memorandum of demands to the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court. They had informed the matter to the district and sessions judge yesterday.

“Unless she is removed from here, we will not co-operate with judicial activities in her court,” said S.S.K. Subudhi, president of the bar association. He said the district judge had been intimated about the decision immediately after the resolution was passed, so that necessary arrangements could be made for the litigants.

The lawyer, Chinmay Kumar Mohanty, who had accused the woman judge of misbehaviour, said he was cross-examining a prosecution witness in a vigilance trap case around 12 noon yesterday. Mohapatra was not recording the evidences and she left the court directing Mohanty to file a defer petition.

“I filed a petition and left the court. After about half-an-hour, I heard the judge recording the statement of the next witness with the help of the public prosecutor though the defence counsel was not present. I rushed to the court and asked the judge about it. She then threatened me and directed me to leave the court,” said Mohanty, who immediately approached the bar association.

The association members also accused Mohapatra of rude behaviour.

However Mohapatra could not be contacted for her comment. The judicial staff preferred to be tightlipped about the incident.