Partial end to bar strike

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  • Published 3.05.12

Cuttack/Sambalpur, May 2: Lawyers in Sambalpur today continued with their ceasework, demanding the arrest of district collector Mrinalini Darswal even though their colleagues at Orissa High Court and other courts across the state called off the agitation.

The lawyers have been agitating after a confrontation with Sambalpur collector Darswal on April 23. While the collector alleged that some local lawyers had ransacked her residence on that day, the lawyers accused her of misbehaving with them and using abusive language against their fraternity.

Proceedings in the high court were disrupted since April 26 as the lawyers had started a ceasework demanding withdrawal of cases registered against some members of the Sambalpur Bar Association and appointment of an inquiry commission headed by a retired high court or Supreme Court judge to probe into the incident.

Secretary of the Odisha High Court Bar Association Piyush Mishra today said in Cuttack: “We resumed work today after the general body of our association decided to call off the ceasework with the hope that the matter will be resolved soon.”

The bar association’s general body took the decision to bring their protest to a halt after a three-member fact-finding team led by association president Jayant Das submitted a report on the incident at a meeting held yesterday.

However, legal proceedings and office work in the high court remained suspended today to honour former justice Amiya Kumari Padhi who died in Cuttack yesterday. She was the first woman judge of Orissa High Court.

Lawyers in Sambalpur, however, decided to continue their ceasework till May 7. The central action committee of the Western Odisha Bar Association has also decided to call for a western Odisha bandh on May 8 demanding arrest and transfer of the Sambalpur collector.

Lawyers in Jharsuguda also continued with their ceasework expressing solidarity with their colleagues in Sambalpur. They had also called for a bandh yesterday demanding arrest and transfer of Darswal.