Odisha HC verdict paves way for Bijepur bypoll

Cuttack: In what could give a major fillip to Odisha’s ruling BJD’s plan to win Bijepur bypoll, Orissa High Court today closed a case filed in connection with irregularities during 2014 assembly election of Bijepur Assembly constituency in Bargarh district.

The High Court while hearing a petition filed by former Odisha minister and senior BJD leader Prasanna Acharya against Congress MLA Subal Sahu ruled that the case has to be closed as the respondent (Sahu) in the case has died.

“The High Court has put an end to the case. The Court in its verdict stated that in the aftermath of Subal Sahu’s death, there is no need for the case to continue. His contender Prasanna Acharya had petitioned the Court to declare Subal Sahu’s win as null and void. Today’s verdict made it clear that there is no impediment to conduct the bye-poll in Bijepur,” said Sahu’s counsel Tarini Kanta Biswal.

Following the court’s verdict, it’s expected that the Election Commission of India now gets a free hand to announce the date for Bijepur bye-poll.

The ruling party has named Rita (wife of Subal Sahu) as its candidate after she formally joined the party recently.

Sahu’s family had submitted the death certificate of the deceased legislator urging the HC to put an end to the case.

Meanwhile, Acharya welcomed the High Court verdict and said,” We welcome the honourable High Court’s decision in Bijepur case. BJD is always ready for the by-election and will definitely win it.”

Notably, the former minister had filed the petition alleging lapses in conduct of polls and counting of votes in Bijepur Assembly constituency in the 2014 election. He had lost from the seat to Sahu by a margin of only 458 votes.

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