Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 17:
Utkal Bharat President Kharavela Swain on Wednesday filed a PIL in the Odisha High Court challenging the Rs 300 crore corpus fund formed by the state government to compensate the victims of the chit fund scam.
Talking to OST over phone, Swain said he had filed a PIL in September, 2013 soon after the state government announced its intention to form such a fund.
“But for a variety of reasons, including the general elections that took place in April this year, I had to not been able to pursue the matter,” he said.
The former Balasore MP said when his lawyer raised the matter with the Court last Thursday, he was told that the original PIL had sought to challenge what was essentially an ‘expression of intent’ and not a concrete decision and advised him to file a fresh petition citing government notification, if any, in the matter.
“Now that the government has made a provsion of Rs 300 crore for the corpus fund in the supplementary budget passed during the winter session of the Aassembly and has issued a notification in this regard, we filed a revised petition in the court today enclosing the government notification,” Swain said.
The petition would be taken up next week, he said adding he was hopeful that the court would issue a notice to the state government on the issue.
Asked why he chose to pick up a cause which is unlikely to win him many friends, the Utkal Bharat leader said; “It is a bit like the Rs 1 a kg rice scheme. Political parties are wary of taking up such issues because of their fear of losing votes. But someone had to call a spade a spade.”