Chief Justice S Muralidhar administered the oath of office and secrecy to judges, who were elevated from advocate and judicial officers respectively, in a simple ceremony on the high court premises.
Justice Sahoo had started practice as a lawyer in the high court in 1999 and was appointed as additional standing counsel for the state government in 2005. He was appointed as an additional government advocate for the state government in 2014 and continued in the post till he was elevated to judge.
Justice Pattanaik joined as a district judge after qualifying for the senior judicial service in 2009 and prior to his appointment as high court judge was secretary of law department.
He had earlier served as registrar general of the high court. Justice Mishra had after qualifying for the senior judicial service joined as a district judge in 2009. He was district judge, Ganjam, before his elevation to judge of high court and had earlier served as secretary of law department. With the joining of Justice Sahoo, Justice Pattanaik and Justice Mishra the number of judges in the high court has gone up to 14 against a sanctioned strength of 27.
The problem of a large number of vacancies in posts of judges in the high court has persisted due to the slow process of appointment. Only eight appointments have been made since April 2015.
The last to be appointed was Justice Savitri Ratho, who was sworn in on June 11, 2020. Justice S K Panigrahi took oath of office after his appointment was notified on February 7, 2020 and Justice Bibhu Prasad Routray joined office after his appointment was notified on November 7, 2019.
The two other appointments in the past nearly six years and five months were on November 19, 2018 (Justice A K Mishra) and April 17, 2015 (Justice K R Mohapatra).
Persisting vacancies over the years have been creating difficulty in tackling the backlog and creating resentment among the advocates on matters not being taken up for months. The number of cases pending in the high court was 1, 83,297 as on October 16, 2021.