Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Mar 18:
The Odisha High Court today quashed the election petition filed by defeated Congress candidate from Titlagarh Assembly seat Surendra Singh Bhoi and slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh on him for non-cooperation in the trial proceedings.
The single judge bench of Justice Biswanath Rath passed the order to quash the petition and levy fine after the court found that Bhoi was not present in the court during hearing and his counsel informed that he had no information on him.
Bhoi had challenged BJD MLA Tukuni Sahoo’s election to the Assembly from Titilagarh in May last year.
In February, the High Court had slapped a penalty of Rs 5,000 on the former Congress MLA for failing to depose before the court during the trial proceedings.
Bhoi, who was defeated by a margin of 14,022 votes in a 12-cornered contest for the seat, had filed the election petition.
Singh had sought declaration of the election of Tukuni Sahoo as void and announcement of a bypoll alleging that there were massive irregularities in the process of election and counting of votes in 87 booths in Titlagarh assembly segment in last year’s elections which he lost.
The court had also slapped a fine of Rs 15, 000 on Sahoo earlier in the month of February this year for intentionally seeking to delay the hearing. The court had slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 in October and again Rs 5,000 in November last year on her for failing to respond to the notices of the court within the stipulated time in the poll irregularity case.
It had also rejected the miscellaneous petition filed by her, seeking quashing of the election petition filed by Bhoi.