The Telegraph
Sunday , March 23 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

MLA & project under HC lens
Relief for Das in affidavit case

Cuttack, March 22: The false affidavit row involving BJD MLA from Jagatsinghpur Bishnu Charan Das has taken a new turn with Orissa High Court imposing restriction on the district sub-collector’s order in the case.

The order had held Das guilty of suppressing facts and hence liable to be penalised.

Das had challenged the order in Orissa High Court.

“The single judge bench of Justice S.C. Parija, before which the petition came up yesterday, stayed the operation of the order issued by Jagatsinghpur sub-collector-cum-returning officer. But, he allowed the Election Commission to initiate action as provided under law in the appropriate court,” Das’s counsel Sarada Prasanna Sarangi told The Telegraph today.

The court fixed March 28 for further hearing on the matter while directing the Jagatsinghpur sub-collector-cum-returning officer to file a response by then.

“Our basic contention is that the order passed by the Jagatsinghpur sub-collector, is arbitrary as he is not empowered to pass a verdict. His power is limited to conduct an inquiry and file a complaint case before the court of the sub-divisional magistrate on the basis of his inquiry report,” Sarangi said.

The controversy was over the property statement filed by Das at the time of submitting his nomination papers in 2009 Assembly polls.

There were allegations that he had not declared a certain patch of land that his wife owned. A petition was filed before the Jagatsinghpur sub-collector-cum-returning officer for action against the legislator. The Jagatsinghpur block Congress president Laxmi Narayan Samantaray filed the petition, accusing him of not submitting the ownership of land that his spouse owned.

The affidavit submitted by Das with the state election commission had not mentioned a piece of land within the Jagatsinghpur Municipality jurisdiction, which was in his wife’s name.

In his order on February 22, the sub-collector said: “It is established beyond reasonable doubt that the land schedule stands recorded in the name of Sanjukta Das, spouse of Bishnu Charan Das,” and the contention of the petitioner is “found to be correct”.

The order said Das was liable to be penalised under Section 125 (A) of the Representation of Peoples Act, Section 177 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 195 of CrPC.