Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Delay in establishment of a Bench of Orissa High Court in Sambalpur is delay in allowing law to stand with a very big segment of disadvantaged people of the State.
The High Court at Cuttack might be making the Cuttack lawyers rich; but people of the remote corners are perishing in absence of easily available protection from higher judiciary.
About ten years ago, Biswanath Mohapatra of Sambalpur, being well known to me, had requested me to find for him a good lawyer at Cuttack to conduct his case. I introduced him to a senior lawyer quite illustrious by his own accomplishments. After the lawyer agreed to file and represent him in the case, Mohapatra settled the total amount of fee with him and paid the amount in advance. During the decade Mohapatra has come to the lawyer’s chamber many times and has paid further money to his juniors as per their demands in hope that thereby the case would proceed. But the case has not proceeded. This is just an instance.
All the Mohapatras of Western Orissa, perishing because of the difficult distance from the protection of higher judiciary, are crying for a Bench of the High Court in Sambalpur. It is sad that their cries are not yet taken note of.
The lawyers of Western Orissa are again on strike in support of their outstanding demand for a Bench in their environment where they can assist the higher judiciary more ably in adjudication of cases that they are absolutely acquainted with by virtue of being the lawyers in the lower courts. We are at loss to understand why this minimum necessity of justice is being denied to the people.
We have shown in these pages earlier as to why a Bench of the High Court should be established in Sambalpur. And, we stand by that.
It is sad that neither the High Court Bar nor the High Court comes forward to help Western Orissa have a the Bench. Litigants of the western districts are unbearably suffering as they are unable to travel the far distance frequently to set their cases on appropriate motion.
People have a right to get due justice without difficulty and the State has a duty to facilitate that. The Government that plays no role in discharging this duty must be censored as anti-people.
It is time, Chief Minister Navin Patnaik, the autocrat ruler of democratic Orissa, who is so devotedly concentrating on serving the interest of POSCO and the Vedanta and the Tatas and the likes, should take up this urgent matter truly relevant to our people with the central government and with any functionary that matters in the matter of establishment of Benches of High Courts beyond their original seats and ensure that Sambalpur gets the Bench that the locals are crying for.
There should be no plea of paucity of funds. The fellows in power are known for unnecessary expenditure from the State Exchequer. This expenditure is necessary.
The sooner it is understood the better.