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Odia plea back in HC

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LALMOHAN PATNAIK   |   Published 16.04.13, 12:00 AM

Cuttack, April 15: A fresh petition filed in Orissa High Court has sought intervention for the use of Odia as official language by the state government.

An earlier PIL had been filed in the high court seeking a similar direction.

The PIL had also sought direction to the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) to set question papers for examinations conducted by it both in English and Odia and give the candidates the option to answer either in either language. Dr Manoranjan Mohanty, 62, of Cuttack and Subrat Prusty, 36, of Jajpur had filed the PIL.

On November 30, 2012, the high court disposed of the PIL with a direction to the petitioners to first file a representation with a competent authority. “If such representation is filed, the secretary general, administration department, shall consider and dispose of the same within a period of eight weeks. If a decision is not taken on the representation of the petitioners, it is open to approach this court after eight weeks,” the high court said in its order.

Accordingly, the petitioners filed a representation on January 8, 2013. But no action has been taken on it so far. So the petitioners have turned to the high court again.

“A fresh petition has been filed by way of a contempt petition against the special secretary, general administration department, for not taking a decision on the representation as directed by the high court,” petitioners’ counsel Kshirod Rout told The Telegraph today. The petition was filed last Thursday and is expected to be taken up for hearing this week.

Even after receiving the high court order, the special secretary, general administration department, wilfully neglected and did not implement the order of the high court. His inaction amounts to contempt of court, the petitioners alleged.

The petition assumes significance because the state government had first proposed to make Odia the official language more than 25 years ago. In January 2010, the state government formally decided to implement it in a phased manner starting at the panchayat and block levels and gradually extending it to the state level.

As part of the decision simplification of Odia language, re-printing of the Odia dictionary, preparation of an official dictionary, special software for use of Odia in computers and training to employees were expected to follow.

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