Reacting to the response of Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the issue of the latter’s recommendation for setting up permanent benches of the Orissa High Court in southern and western Odisha, the High Court Bar Association here on Thursday claimed that their stand on the issue had been vindicated.

Unilateral recommendation

Mr Sibal in a letter to Mr Patnaik on Wednesday had pointed out that his (Patnaik’s) recommendation is “incomplete” and any such recommendation for setting up any benches of the High Court has to be endorsed by the State Chief Justice. It may be mentioned here that Mr Patnaik on September 28 had urged the Union Law Minister to take appropriate measures in setting up benches of the High Court without mentioning any specific place for the same. Mr Patnaik had also unilaterally made the recommendation without discussing the matter with the State Chief Justice. Elated over Mr Sibal’s stand on the issue, the members of the High Court Bar Association in an emergency general body meeting here on Thursday said that they had been boycotting the court proceedings for nearly a month now over the same stand saying that the views of the Chief Justice on the matter were “sacrosanct”.

“It (Patnaik’s recommendation) was unconstitutional and against a ruling of the Supreme Court as the same was not made in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court”, said the HC bar association secretary Janmejaya Katakia adding that the bar was on the same page since the beginning.

Bandh in city?

Mr Katakia further informed that the general body of the bar is again meeting on Friday after the scheduled steering committee meeting with various puja committees and peace committees of the city to take a final stand on the proposed Cuttack bandh.