Cuttack, Nov 22 (UNI) Work in Orissa High Court and the lower courts in Cuttack was paralysed today as lawyers abstained from attending the courts protesting against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's letter to Chief Justice A K Ganguly favouring establishment of permanent high court benches in West and South Orissa.
The High Court Bar Association, in a resolution passed at a meeting held here under the Chairmanship of its President Yasheen Mohanty, yesterday resolved to abstain from court work from today till Monday.
The chief minister, in a letter to the Chief Justice, had favoured setting up of permanent high court benches at Sambalpur and Berhampur to provide justice to the poor at their door step.
The Bar Association urged the Chief Justice to reject the request and communicate it to the government.The meeting also resolved to request the government not to pursue for the establishment of circuit courts in these two places.
The lawyers also abstained from work on November 15 and 16 to lodge their protest against the proposal.
Reacting to the stand taken by the lawyers in Cuttack, the District Bar Associations of Western Orissa said they would demand a separate state if the circuit benches were not set up in their areas.
In a meeting at Bargarh the presidents, secretaries and senior members of District Bar Associations of western Orissa dubbed the arguments of the Cuttack advocates as totally ''unjustified and uncalled for''.
In order to keep the state united and help the poor people of western Orissa to get justice at doorstep, Cuttack advocates should show broadness, said Ashok Kumar Panda a senior practitioner.
Former MP Patit Paban Pradhan also described the strike by the Cuttack lawyers as 'unfortunate'.
''They have not taken into consideration the formation of benches elsewhere in the country. At a time when all of us are emphasizing to reach justice to the doorstep, such attitude by the leading bar of the state should be judiciously considered,'' he said.