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Despite SC order, Odisha lawyers continue strike

Courts in Odisha have not been functioning since August 28 as lawyers across the state went on strike after one of them, Debi Prasad Pattnaik, was allegedly beaten by four policemen over a trivial dispute.

Written by Sampad Patnaik | Bhubaneshwar | Published: September 29, 2018 6:42:23 am
Inquiry against Orissa HC judges: the back Orissa high court (File)

A day after the Supreme Court directed them to withdraw agitation and allow courts to function in Odisha, lawyers on Friday resolved to continue their cease-work agitation.

Courts in Odisha have not been functioning since August 28 as lawyers across the state went on strike after one of them, Debi Prasad Pattnaik, was allegedly beaten by four policemen over a trivial dispute. On Friday, hundreds of lawyers gathered outside the Odisha High Court in Cuttack and requested judges not to enter the court.

“The cessation of work will continue till Wednesday,” Satyabrata Mohanty, secretary of the Odisha High Court Bar Association, said. “Today, we discussed the SC’s direction at length at the Bar Association (meeting). It was of great concern that an order has been passed where neither have we been added as a party nor have we been given an opportunity to be heard,” Mohanty said.

According to lawyers, an FIR has been registered in the assault case, but only two people have been arrested. “Three other people involved have not been apprehended,” Mohanty said.

On Thursday, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Mishra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud gave the order while hearing a petition of Abhijit Iyer-Mitra v State of Odisha. The petitioner brought to the court’s notice that he was unable to move the Odisha HC as the Bar Association was on strike.

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