Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Feb 2:
The Odisha High Court today quashed a Misc case filed by Titlagarh MLA Tukuni Sahu and slapped a fine of Rs 15,000 on her for attempting to deliberately delay the adjudication process in a case filed by defeated Congress candidate from Titlagarh assembly constituency Surendra Singh Bhoi alleging irregularities in the Assembly elections of 2014.
Titlagarh BJD MLA Tukuni Sahu had filed a Misc case seeking quashing of the poll petition filed by Surendra Singh Bhoi, the defeated Congress candidate in the last assembly elections .
Commenting on the matter, Bhoi’s lawyer Pitamber Acharya said: “We had filed an election case in which we had alleged large scale irregularities in 87 booths. Legislator Tukuni Sahu didn’t file her reply in the matter after receiving notice in the case for which she was fined Rs 10,000 by the court. Despite being fined, she delayed filing her reply for the second time following which the court again fined her an amount of Rs 5,000 in addition to the earlier fine.”
Sahu then filed a Misc petition arguing that the election case be quashed at the preliminary stage without trial. She had filed the petition under CPC (Civil Procedure Code) Order 6 Rule 16 and Order 7 Rule 11 and section 86 of the Peoples Representation Act contending that the facts or material on record didn’t warrant any proceeding and therefore the case may be quashed in the preliminary stage.
“We had argued that since 1964 till 2015, in all verdicts the Supreme Court has ruled that quashing of election cases at the preliminary stage is not lawful. In cases where High Courts had in the past quashed such cases at the preliminary stage without going for trials, the Supreme Court has quashed High Court orders and has sent back the cases for trial. The MLA was trying a similar tactic today. The court said since the complainant has furnished enough material facts in his petition, the petition cannot be quashed at the preliminary stage without trial. The court has rejected her arguments. As she is the return candidate and delays in trials are beneficial for return candidates, they file frivolous petitions for delaying trial. As she was attempting to waste the court’s valuable time and delay a fair trial, the court today slapped a monetary penalty of Rs 15,000 on her,” Acharya said.