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Judges’ panel submits report on land grab by OOA

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Cuttack, Sep 30:

The committee headed by the Cuttack district judge today submitted its report to the Supreme Court in the alleged encroachment of land by the Odisha Olympic Association (OOA) near the Barabati Stadium.

Barabati Palace

The committee submitted its report in a sealed cover to the apex court. The next hearing of the case has been fixed for October 8.

The three-member judicial committee constituted on the directions of the Supreme Court has Cuttack district judge Satya Narayan Mishra as its head while additional district judges of Cuttack and Kendrapara BK Mishra and Kirti Chandra Barik respectively are the other members.

It may be recalled that the Supreme Court on May 7 this year had ordered formation of a judges’ committee to investigate and find out whether the Barabati Palace (Kalyan Mandap) and adjoining 23 shops were built on encroached land or on property owned by the OOA.

The court had also directed the Odisha Accountant General (AG) to submit a report on the financial transactions of Barabati Palace and other business establishments adjacent to it allegedly built on land encroached by OOA.

According to the apex court’s directives, a committee headed by the district judge, Cuttack with two more additional judges nominated by the Chief Justice of Odisha High Court as its members, was asked to conduct an on-the-spot inquiry. The chief secretary and Revenue secretary were directed to assist the panel in its inquiry.

The district administration had conducted a measurement exercise in the matter last year and had submitted its report to the High Court that OOA had constructed Barabati Palace and three shops on encroached government land, according to Revenue department sources.

Following which the High Court had directed Cuttack district administration to take possession of Barabati Palace and the other business establishments in November last year. This apart, the court had also asked the Crime Branch to investigate the activities of OOA.

However, OOA had later challenged the High Court’s order in the Supreme Court.