Kotia row: Odisha seeks legal opinion from former SC judge

Bhubaneswar: In ongoing legal battle with Andhra Pradesh over Kotia jurisdiction dispute in Koraput district, Odisha Government has sought legal opinion from former Supreme Court Judge Justice AK Pattanaik.

In this regard, the State Revenue & Disaster Management Department directed Koraput Collector to proceed to New Delhi with all relevant documents for briefing Justice Pattanaik on Kotia issue.

Additional Government Advocate Suman Pattanayak has been requested to accompany district collector to Delhi for obtaining advice from former Judge of the apex court.

The disputed region of Kotia under Pottangi Block in Koraput district is currently sub-judice in the Supreme Court. Recently, the court had granted four-week time to Odisha to file rejoinder.

During a hearing on February 19 this year, the Counsel for Andhra Pradesh argued that by no stretch of imagination can it be stated that there was a breach of undertaking or of any order passed by the Supreme Court and the contempt petition should be junked. Later, Odisha’s Counsel senior advocate Vikas Singh sought a four weeks’ adjournment, to which advocate Mahfooz Nazki for Andhra Pradesh said that he has no objection. The apex court adjourned the matter for four weeks.

Read: Kotia row: SC grants Odisha 4-week time to file rejoinder

Worth mentioning that both Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have been claiming jurisdiction over 21 villages out of 28 in Kotia panchayat since years by extending various benefits to over 5,000 residents in the region. Several media reports claimed that the government in the neighbouring State has been attempting to win villagers over to its side by alluring them of basic services under various welfare schemes.

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