Cuttack: In a significant development, a judge of the Orissa High Court today recused himself from holding the trial in the case pertaining to alleged discrepancies in poll expenses of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
According to reports, Justice Sanjay Kumar Mishra wrote to Chief Justice Vineet Saran to recuse him from trying the case citing personal reasons while requesting the latter to constitute a separate bench for its trial.
As a consequence of this, the hearing of the case which was scheduled for today could not be held.
The next date for hearing of the case will be decided after it is allotted to a different bench by Chief Justice Saran, Court sources said.
Two cases have been registered against Chief Minister Patnaik citing alleged mismatch in his poll expenses affidavit with that of the expenditure statement of the BJD.
The petitioners have sought annulment of Patnaik’s membership of Odisha Legislative Assembly for furnishing false information in the affidavit.
Notably, the High Court after conducting a preliminary hearing earlier in the petition filed by social activist Subash Mohapatra has served a notice to the Election Commission of India.
BJP’s defeated candidate from Hinjili assembly constituency Debanand Mohapatra too has filed a petition on the matter in the High Court.
Both the petitions were scheduled for hearing before single member bench Justice Sanjay Kumar Mishra for today. But hearing could not be held as Justice Mishra recused himself from the case.