Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Apr 13:
The Supreme Court (SC) today maintained its earlier interim order restraining Odisha Olympic Association (OAA) general secretary Asirbad Behera from functioning as secretary of the Association till the next date of hearing -July 13 in the OOA land grab case.
A division bench of the apex court comprising of Justice Deepak Mishra and Justice PC Pant issued the ruling while conducting a hearing on a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by OOA.
“The OOA case was posted for hearing today. Since the Hon’ble SC said that it didn’t have time to conduct the hearing today posted it for hearing on July 13. Behera hasn’t lost his post. He won’t function as general secretary since the court in its earlier order has restrained him from functioning as the secretary while asking the joint secretary to function in his place till next date of hearing,” said Dayanand Mahapatra, counsel of OOA.
It may be recalled that the Supreme Court in its order on March 9 had stated: “Be that as it may, prima facie, the conflict of interest is manifest. Regard being had to the facts and circumstances of the case, we direct that Mr. Asirbad Behera, General Secretary of the Orissa Olympic Association is restrained from functioning as the Secretary of the Association till the next date of hearing. Needless to say, this is without prejudice to the contentions to be raised in the special leave petition. Let the matter be listed on 13.04.2016 for further hearing at 2.00 p.m.”
It may be recalled that the Supreme Court on May 7 last year had ordered formation of a judges’ committee to investigate and find out whether the Barabati Palace (Kalyan Mandap) and adjoining 23 shops were built on encroached land or on property owned by the OOA.
A three-member judicial committee constituted on the directions of the Supreme Court with Cuttack district judge Satya Narayan Mishra as its head and additional district judges of Cuttack and Kendrapara BK Mishra and Kirti Chandra Barik respectively as the other members had submitted its report to the apex court on September 30 last year.
The court had also directed the Odisha Accountant General (AG) to submit a report on the financial transactions of Barabati Palace and other business establishments adjacent to it allegedly built on land encroached by OOA.
The district administration had conducted a measurement exercise in the matter in 2014 and had submitted its report to the High Court that OOA had constructed Barabati Palace and three shops on encroached government land, according to Revenue department sources.
Following which the High Court had directed Cuttack district administration to take possession of Barabati Palace and the other business establishments in November 2014. This apart, the court had also asked the Crime Branch to investigate the activities of OOA.
However, OOA had later challenged the High Court’s order in the Supreme Court.