| Lawyers protest in Sambalpur on Saturday. Telegraph picture |
Cuttack/Sambalpur, Sept. 14: Justice C.R. Pal Commission, which is assessing the feasibility and need of establishing Orissa High Court benches in some parts of the state, will submit its report to the state government “by the end of October”.
The single-member judicial commission was appointed on March 11, 2008.
Though the tenure of the commission was six months, it was given 10 extensions, with the last one being on June 30, 2013. “The inquiry process has been expedited. About 90 per cent of the data compilation work related to cases filed in the high court from various zones has been completed. The inquiry report will be submitted by the end of October,” Justice C.R. Pal told The Telegraph.
The commission has been studying three zones to consider the demands of various bar associations for a bench of the high court. Accordingly, records of writ petitions, along with civil and criminal appeals filed in the high court between 2004 and 2008, are being reviewed to find out cases related to these three regions.
Justice Pal said: “The recommendation will be based largely on factors including the number of cases filed in the high court, distance from the high court, area vis-à-vis population of the zone and socio-economic-cultural conditions”.
The central action committee of all the western Odisha bar associations has decided to call a strike in their region on September 19 to press for the demand for a permanent high court bench.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the action committee at Rairakhol today.
The civic polls in various areas of the state, which the lawyers have boycotted to protest against the government inaction in establishing high court benches, are also scheduled to be held on September 19.
The lawyers, who had temporarily suspended their agitation to let people celebrate the Nuakhai festival, will resume their protest from tomorrow.
Functioning of the district administration has remained paralysed because of their agitation from August 20.
Ashok Dash, convener of the western Odisha bar associations, said: “We will review our future course of action in our next meeting of at Boudh on September 29.”
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had invited the central action committee of the western Odisha bar associations for a discussion on August 24. However, the meeting failed to yield any result.