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HC adjourns hearing on BJD poll expenses row

Biramitrapur

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Thursday adjourned to next week hearing on all petitions pertaining to the controversy on poll expenses involving Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his party BJD.

Sources said the court is likely to give its final verdict on all the petitions, including that of the main writ petition filed by social activist Subash Mohapatra, on July 31.

Earlier in the day, when Justice SK Mishra began hearing on the miscellaneous petition filed by the District Magistrate-cum-District Electoral Officer of Ganjam, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) of Election Commission of India (ECI) AK Bose also appeared to argue the case on behalf of the ECI, which was issued a notice by the High Court last week.

Similarly, main petitioner Subash Mohapatra, through his counsel Narendra Hooda of the Supreme Court, also moved another miscellaneous petition on the day seeking deletion of all the three formal opposite parties from his writ petition.

Seeking a direction to the ECI for an early disposal of his representation, Mohapatra in his petition had arraigned the Odisha Chief Electoral Officer, the Ganjam District Magistrate and Naveen Patnaik as formal opposite parties while the ECI was the main opposite party.

Alleging gross discrepancies in the sworn statements of poll expenses of the Chief Minister and the BJD, Mohapatra in his representation to the ECI in June last year had urged it to take appropriate action against Naveen Patnaik and his party, of which he is the president, for allegedly misleading the ECI through false affidavits.

Arguments by the counsels of all parties, including that of the ASG of ECI, remained inconclusive on the day as the High Court adjourned hearings of all the petitions to Monday.

Meanwhile, a   delegation of the BJP led by party national spokesperson Sambit Patra on Thursday called on the Election Commission of India in New Delhi demanding disqualification of Naveen Patnaik as an MLA for allegedly filing a false poll affidavit.

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