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Ganjam Collector pleads HC to quash case over CM’s poll expenses

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Bhubaneswar: The Ganjam district Collector today filed a petition in the Orissa High Court seeking to recall the notice issued by it to the ECI last week to disclose the poll expenses of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The Ganjam collector made the approach when political parties in the state are engaged in a fierce slugfest over the ruling BJD’s “controversial” bank account and Patnaik’s alleged false statements of poll expenses to Election Commission of India (ECI), sources said.
The Collector Prem Chand Chaudhary in the miscellaneous petition to the High Court has urged it to reject the writ petition filed by one Subash Mohapatra since the petitioner does not have a locus standi to prefer such a plea as he (Mohapatra) is not a voter of the Hinjli Assembly segment from where Patnaik was elected in the 2014 elections.

Chaudhary, who is the district electoral officer of Ganjam, has mentioned in his appeal to the High Court that the poll-related expenditure statements of all, including that of the winning candidate, are destroyed after two years of completion of the elections.

Notably, the High Court on July 18 issued a notice to the ECI while adjudicating over the writ petition of Mohapatra.

The petitioner had sought the intervention of the High Court in the “inordinate delay” on the part of the ECI in disposing of a representation filed by him in June 2016.

In his representation, Mohaptra had alleged that gross discrepancies were noticed in the sworn election expenses statements filed by Patnaik and his party the BJD.

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