Cuttack: The Odisha High Court today quashed a notification of the East Coast Railway Claims Tribunal for empanelment of lawyers to defend its cases.
The Tribunal on February 14, 2010 had came out with an open advertisement seeking application from lawyers to be empanelled as standing counsels to defend the cases of Railways.
However, lawyer community had taken strong exception to the eligibility criteria set by the Tribunal.
The advertisement said that the applicants should have at least ten years of practice and they should be only members from the Bhubaneswar bar.
Alleging that it was sheer discrimination on the part of Railways to favour lawyers of a particular bar, the Odisha Tax Bar Association challenged the notification in the High Court seeking to quash the notification and remove the prejudice the Railways were trying to inflict.
The Court during admission of the writ had slapped an interim stay on the empanelment process in 2010 itself.
Delivering the judgment on Friday, a Division Bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B K Mishra quashed the February 2010 notification of the Tribunal and asked the petitioner to represent the general manager of the East Coast Railways seeking redressal of their grievances, said the petitioners’ advocate Aptakam Mishra.