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Orissa HC notice to EC for early completion of inquiry against Naveen Patnaik

LiveMint logoLiveMint 22-07-2017 PTI

Cuttack: The Orissa high court has issued notice to the Election Commission on a writ petition that has sought direction to the poll panel for early completion of inquiry against chief minister Naveen Patnaik for allegedly giving “false” statements about his election expenses during the 2014 assembly elections.

A bench of justice S.K. Mishra issued the notice to the EC on 18 July making it returnable by 17 August, so that the writ petition shall be taken up for final hearing on 22 August. The high court has also made it clear in the order that the matter shall be disposed of at the stage of admission, informed the petitioner advocate Sidharth P. Das.

Das said a Bhubaneswar-based social activist Subash Mohapatra had on 29 June 2016 lodged a complaint before the Election Commission alleging “irregularities” in the election expenses of Patnaik as a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidate for the Hinjili assembly segment. He also alleged “discrepancies” in the sworn statements of expenses both by Patnaik and his BJD, of which he is the president.

“Though, the EC was supposed to act upon such complaints and redress the grievances of the complainants within two days, the EC is sitting over it for more than one year now,” the writ petition alleged, adding that such prolonged silence on the part of Election Commission was illogical and bad in the eyes of law.

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