Bhubaneswar, October 17 (LocalWire): In its first-ever such case, an all judges bench of the Orissa High Court on Tuesday took suo motu cognizance of the disruption in court work due to frequent strikes by lawyers in the state.
The 14-judge bench headed by Justice K S Jhaveri also issued notices to 67 subordinate court bar associations in 16 districts asking them to explain why action should not be taken against them for violation of the Supreme Court judgment that bars lawyers from going on strike or boycotting court work.
The bench also took note of the frequent strikes and boycott of court work by lawyers pushing for high court benches in their regions.
It may be recalled that the High Court Bar Association in the state had started to boycott the court work on Monday to protest against the elevation of advocate Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi and district and sessions judge Bibhu Prasad Routray on charges that it has been influenced by a big corporate house.
The Supreme Court collegiums had selected the two from among the 12 candidates recommended by the chief justice K S Jhaveri on 7 May and had passed a resolution on 3 October appointing the two as the judges of the Orissa High Court.
While Panigrahi is an advocate on record of the apex court, Routray is currently posted as the district and sessions judge in Berhampur.
The notices were issued after the registrar general of the Orissa High Court registered a suo motu contempt case on the basis of reports received from district judges and the registry of the high court about obstruction in the administration of justice because of the frequent strike by lawyers.
The court also issued notices to the Orissa High Court Bar Association, the Bar Council of Odisha, the Bar Council of India and Odisha chief secretary, besides the principal secretaries of the departments of home and law.
The bench has fixed 21 October as the next date of hearing in the matter.