Staff Reporter

Lawyers submit memorandum to additional district magistrate

They demand immediate removal of EVMs

BERHAMPUR: Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) have stalled regular revenue court proceedings at the Berhampur sub-collector’s office since more than two months.

At present the courtroom of the Berhampur sub-collector is being used as a store room for EVMs. These key machines of electoral process were stacked in this room since the start of electoral process for the civic polls. The sealed courtroom has also stalled the conduct of regular courts by the sub-collector.

The lawyers of the Ganjam Bar Association say as per the norms the sub-collector was to hold his regular courts on every Saturday.

Former president of the bar association Manoj Patnaik alleged that the revenue court of the sub-collector has not functioned since third week of July.

A group of lawyers have handed over a memorandum of Additional District Magistrate M.M. Deo urging him to take steps so that the court of the sub-collector could function in its usual natural manner. These lawyers included Mr Patnaik, Prabhu Prasad Patra, B.B. Krishna Rao, Pradip Dash and Tripati Sahu etc. They also had a discussion with Mr Deo regarding measures to shift the EVMs and clean up the courtroom of the sub-collector, so that the court could be held in the room. The lawyers alleged that although the sub-collector’s court remained closed yet the summons were being issued to the people for the appearance in cases under Orissa Land Reforms Act (22) and other solvency cases but no court was being held.

According to them mostly the poor from the tribal and dalit community were suffering due to these summons while the court was not being held.

They were coming over adhering to the summons, while the court work was not done at the sub-collector’s court. According to Mr Patnaik, this was proving to be a psychological and monetary pain for these people.

The lawyers demanded the EVMs to be removed from the sub-collector’s courtroom immediately for the regular functioning of the revenue court.