Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Feb 20:
The Odisha High Court on Thursday slapped a penalty of Rs 5,000 on former Congress MLA Surendra Singh Bhoi for failing to depose before the court during the trial proceedings of an election petition challenging BJD MLA Tukuni Sahoo’s election to the Assembly from Titilagarh in May last year.
Justice Biswanath Rath imposed the fine as Bhoi and other witnesses did not appear before the court and sought time for deposition. The court posted the next hearing in the case to February 26.
It may be recalled that the court had slapped a fine of Rs 15, 000 on Sahoo earlier this month for intentionally seeking to delay the hearing. It had also rejected the miscellaneous petition filed by her, seeking quashing of the election petition filed by Surendra Singh Bhoi, the defeated Congress candidate of the constituency, challenging her election.
Earlier, 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.
Notably, the former Titlagarh MLA, 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.