Tirtol MLA’s election challenged: Odisha HC issues notices

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Feb 26:

The High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Odisha government, the chief electoral officer (CEO) and Jagtsinghpur collector over alleged suppression of facts in the poll expenditure statement filed by BJD legislator from Tirtol Dr Rajashree Mallick.

Rajashree Mallick, BJD MLA from Tirtol
Rajashree Mallick, BJD MLA from Tirtol

Adjudicating the case, Justice Biswanath Rath directed the state chief secretary, the CEO, Jagatsinghpur district collector and the Tirtol lawmaker to file their reply over the alleged discrepancies.

Accusing the Tirtol MLA of filing wrong election expenditure details and thus violating the Representation of People Act, 1951, the petitioner, Kailash Chandra Mohapatra from Nuapada in Tirtol, prayed to the court to annul the election of Mallick.

While a contestant is allowed to spend up to Rs 28 lakh in Assembly polls as per rules, the Tirtol MLA had disclosed in her poll expenditure statement that she had spent just Rs 11, 68, 541.

‘‘The poll expenditure statement filed before the election commission is flawed and misleading. The legislator has suppressed the figures intentionally and hasn’t submitted the vouchers, money receipts and bank statements to manipulate the numbers. Besides, the poll expenditure statement filed by her is inconsistent,’’ Mohapatra alleged.

Hearing the petition to disqualify the candidature of the MLA, the court, during its preliminary hearing, issued notice to the state government to file its counter.

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