Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, Mar 24:
The Odisha Olympic Association (OOA) today raised objections in the Supreme Court to the audit report submitted by the Accountant General (AG) on the disputed Barabati Palace, 23 shops and financial irregularities issue.
While allowing the OOA to file its objections within two weeks, the apex court today asked the state government to submit the original lease deed and photographs of the 23 shops and kalyan mandap with the court at the next date of hearing on April 21.
In its audit report, the AG had stated that the state government had suffered huge revenue losses due to illegalities committed on account of the kalyan mandap and 23 shops. If the need arises, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) will scrutinize the objection filed by the OOA and the audit report submitted by the AG.
“The OOA can file its objection with the court. The objection and the AG’s audit report can also be subsequently scrutinized by the CAG India if the need arises,” said Ashok Panigrahi, counsel for the Odisha government.
The apex court allowed two weeks’ time to the state government to file the original lease deed.
“These shops and the mandap are operating within the leasehold area. They said once they are clear with the economic part of the matter, they would get into the part whether the 23 shops and the mandap are within the leasehold area or not. They have asked for filing of the lease deed in original,” said Panigrahi.
The Supreme Court has questioned whether the lessee OOA can operate shops and kalyan mandap for the development of the stadium without the permission of the state government. The court has directed the state government to submit photographs of the 23 shops and kalyan mandap with the court.
“Whether the lessee, OOA in this case, can engage in these activities; insofar as these shops and mandap is concerned on a mercurial ground to maintain the stadium without the permission of the lessor (State). The state government has been asked to file an affidavit on the nature of these shops and mandap and their photographs with the court,” Panigrahi added.