She will be administered oath tomorrow

  • Amiya Kumari Padhi the first lady judge of High Court
  • Strength of judges to go up to 13

    CUTTACK: In its nearly 50 years of history, the Orissa High Court is going to have its second lady judge on Thursday when 48-year-old Cuttack-based advocate Ms Sanju Panda would take oath as an additional judge of the court.

    Justice Mrs Amiya Kumari Padhi was the first lady judge of the state High Court, who presided over the benches from 1988 to 1995. "A presidential notification confirming the appointment of judge-designate Ms Panda reached here on March 1. The acting Chief Justice of High Court A K Ganguly is likely to administer the oath of office to Justice Ms. Panda," sources in the High Court registrar office said.

    Born on July 10 in 1959, the judge-designate Ms. Panda did her schooling from Buckley Girls' High School in Cuttack and became a graduate in arts from R.D. Women's College in Bhubaneswar. After obtaining a degree in law from M.S. Law College here in 1984, she was enrolled as an advocate of Orissa High Court bar in 1985.

    With her elevation to the bench, the strength of the judges in the High Court will now become 13. The strength of the judges had suddenly reduced to 12 from 15 within two months following retirement of Justice P K Mohanty and Chief Justice S B Roy and the untimely demise of Justice J K Mishra last week.

    Vacant posts

    The current sanctioned strength of judges in Orissa High Court is 16, including Chief Justice. Due to lack of sufficient judges in High Court and other subordinate courts and insufficient judicial members in various tribunals, pending cases for disposal are increasing in the State. According to sources, the High Court has nearly two lakh pending cases while State Administrative Tribunal has around 60,000 cases pending disposal by the end of September 2006. Sources said as many as 10 lakh cases were now pending disposal in various subordinate courts across the State at the district and sub-divisional level.