High court turns 66

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By LALMOHAN PATNAIK
  • Published 27.07.14
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Cuttack, July 26: Orissa High Court turned 66 today. The foundation day was observed by garlanding the statue of its first Chief Justice Bira Kishore Ray, whose death anniversary is also today.

Acting Chief Justice Pradip Mohanty, other judges and among others advocate general Asok Mohanty garlanded Justice Ray’s statue on the court premises.

The High Court Bar Association felicitated four senior advocates — Bipin Bihari Ratho, Ashutosh Mukherjee, Prahallad Kar and S.C. Ghosh. “The felicitation ceremony at Kala Vikash Kendra in the evening today will be followed by staging of a drama Bazalgette by members of the association,” said Bidyadhar Pradhan, secretary of the High Court Bar Association.

Established with four judges, Orissa High Court now has 20 judges, including the Chief Justice against a sanctioned strength of 22 judges. Functioning of the court proceedings has shifted to a new seven-storey high court building adjacent to the old one since January 2, 2014.

Built at an estimated cost of Rs 64 crore, the new building with 1.68 lakh sqft carpet area has 22 court rooms and 22 chambers for judges along with lounges for them and other state-of-the-art facilities.

The circuit court of Patna High Court for Odisha started holding its sitting in Cuttack from May 16, 1916.

Odisha was not given a separate high court when it was made a province on April 1, 1936. The High Court Bar Association in Cuttack demanded a separate high court for Odisha by passing a resolution on July 26, 1938.

“On April 30, 1948, the Government of India first declared a court of the province for Odisha to function from July 5, 1948. But subsequently, by an Orissa High Court (Amendment) Order the date was changed and H.J. Kania, the then Chief Justice of the Federal Court of India, inaugurated Orissa High Court on July 26, 1948,” said Pradhan.

Justice Bira Kishore Ray, the first advocate general of the new Odisha province and the first Odia to become a judge of the high court of Patna, became the first Chief Justice of Orissa High Court on July 26, 1948.

He died on July 26, a decade later, on the tenth foundation day of Orissa High Court in 1958.