Cuttack, Feb. 22: Litigants suffered as lawyers of the Cuttack Civil Court Bar, Cuttack Criminal Court Bar and Board of Revenue Bar Association ceased work today.
They were protesting against alleged assault and ill-treatment of a lawyer at Bidanasi police station on Wednesday night. Expressing solidarity, the High Court Bar Association boycotted court proceedings.
Primary school teacher Md Zahid (name changed), 46, had come all the way from Bhadrak today in connection with a civil case he had filed in one of the courts under the district and sessions judge court here in 2008, only to lose a day.
“I had come to submit documents in support of my case. But the legal procedure will be delayed now,” said Zahid, who was unaware of the cease work by lawyers in Cuttack.
As lawyers abstained from work, the high court could not proceed with monitoring outcome of outsourcing sanitation work, laundry service, food supply or daily diet to patients and supply of medicine at subsidised rate to poor patients under the Odisha State Treatment Fund to private parties at the state-run SCB Medical College and Hospital.
The Advocates’ Committee was expected to submit a report indicating whether involvement of private parties in critical aspects of running the hospital was serving the public’s interest and had been successful and productive on all sides. The court had sought the report after questions were raised about the consequences of outsourcing at SCB during the hearing of a PIL.
While the government had submitted arguments, submission of arguments by the counsels of the petitioners was scheduled for today.
“While passing a resolution to cease work for two days — February 22 and 23 — the director-general of police was urged to inquire and take action against the inspector in charge and other erring officials of Bidanasi police station involved in the assault on advocate Nayan Kishore Biswal,” Orissa High Court Bar Association secretary Piyush Mishra told The Telegraph.
“A decision on the future course of action will be taken at 2pm tomorrow,” Mishra said.
“The allegations are under investigation,” deputy commissioner of police S. Praveen Kumar said.
Odisha Police Association (OPA) president S. N. Sharma said: “The allegations against Bidanasi police station inspector-in-charge Rabindranath Barik are completely false.”
“OPA will resort to agitation if any action is taken against the Barik without proper inquiry,” Sharma said. “We demanded a judicial inquiry while meeting the director-general of police today,” he said.