Take action on poll complaint against Odisha CM: SC directs ECI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court (SC) today directed Election Commission of India (ECI) to take action on the allegation of poll irregularities against Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik. The apex court directed ECI to take a final call on the case within reasonable time.

“The ECI replied in positive to the court when it was asked if it is ready to take action based on the complaint. After that, the SC disposed off the case stating that EC will decide further,” said SC lawyer, Narendra Hooda.

RTI activist Subash Mohapatra had filed a petition in Orissa High Court alleging discrepancies in statement of accounts and expenses submitted by CM Naveen after the 2014 general elections.

Orissa High court had issued the notice to ECI.

Justice BK Nayak scheduled to hear the case on October 31 after a judge of the HC, who was scheduled to hear the case related to the alleged poll fund irregularities, refused to hold trial and requested the Chief Justice to set up a separate bench for hearing.

Moreover, in his declaration to the Election Commission, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has claimed that he received a party fund of Rs 1310625 for his election campaign through RTGS and a cheque (No. 538976288). Interestingly, cheques have 5 or 6 digit numbers. When a scrutiny was made of the BJD bank account, no such payment was found to have ever been made through RTGS or cheque. Patnaik, obviously, made a false declaration.

Naveen Patnaik, while submitting the details of account of election expenses to the Election Commission of India in compliance of section 77 of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1951 on oath in shape of affidavit dated June 15, 2014, in Sl.No.1 of Scheduled 8 of Part –IV of Form of Affidavit, submitted that he has received an amount of Rs13,10,625/- from his party, Biju Janata Dal, as a lump sum amount vide RTGS cheque 538976288 dated April 2, 2014 which is quite contradictory to the statement of expenses submitted by BJD to ECI as stated in the preceding paragraph.

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