Baripada, Mar 7: Lawyers of sub-divisional and other courts in Mayurbhanj district will abstain from attending courts for a week beginning March 10 demanding permanent bench of Orissa High Court at Baripada.
The decision for the week-long stir was taken at a general body meeting of the District Bar Association held here under the presidentship of Srinibas Pradhan.As per the decision the lawyers at the district headquarters and in the three sub-divisional headquarters-Udala, Rairangpur and Karanjia will abstain from attending courts from March 10 to 16 next in support of their demand.
The meeting also resented the appointment of a Commission to look into the demand for establishment of Circuit benches of High Court and described the decision as a ''political gimmick''. The government has constituted a commission headed by Retired Justice C R Pal to look into demand for setting up of circuit benches of the High Court by various bar associations.
Referring to Baripada's plea for the establishment of a permanent bench of the High Court, the Bar Association observed that the state government is bound to abide by the conditions embodied in the ''Merger Agreement'' signed by the Union government and the last king of the Bhanja dynasty, late Pratap Chandra Bhanj Deo who ruled the state from 1928 to 1948.
Late Maharaja Pratap Chandra had established a full-fledged High Court at Baripada on April 10, 1933 with a Chief Justice and a puisne of judges. People of Mayurbhanj enjoyed the facilities of a High Court at their doorsteps till the end of the Raj rule and the merger of the feudatory state with Orissa on January one,1949.
The Bar Association recounted the glorious legal legacy that existed during the Raj Rule in the erstwhile princely state of Mayurbhanj and said that the claim for the establishment of a permanent bench of the Orissa High Court at Baripada cannot be ignored. The Association threatened to intensify their agitation if the state government failed to concede to their demand.