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HC bench: Centre puts ball in State’s court

Bhubaneswar: After Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to take a call on creation of separate benches of the Orissa High Court in western and southern regions, the Union Minister wrote to the CM asking him to have a necessary consultation with the HC Chief Justice and work out the details of the proposed benches.

“The Chief Justice is the head of the High Court and its benches. He is responsible for running the day to day administration of the principal seat of the HC and benches of that HC constituted in the State. As such, it is imperative that the Chief Justice of the HC is consulted and recommendations of the Orissa HC obtained before setting up any benches,” said Prasad in his letter on Saturday.

“Therefore, I once again request you to have the necessary consultation with the Chief Justice and work out the details of the proposed benches. Once the State Government along with High Court communicate their clear views, the Union Government would take further necessary action in this matter,” added Prasad.

On Friday, Chief Minister Patnaik, in a letter to Prasad, urged the Centre to take a call on creation of separate benches of the Orissa high court in western and southern regions in view of the unrelenting agitation that has affected functioning of courts and government offices.

“There is more than adequate justification for establishment of permanent high court benches in western and southern Odisha. Also, there is overwhelming public demand over the issue,” said Patnaik in the letter.

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