Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Sep 15:
Revenue department officials are measuring land abutting the iconic Barabati Stadium and the Barabati Palace within its premises allegedly encroached by the Odisha Olympic Association (OOA) again today.
A similar exercise was conducted on September 2.
The measurement exercise undertaken by Revenue department officials, including the local tehsildar and amins, is being conducted under the direct supervision of a three-member judicial committee headed by the Cuttack district judge.
The measurement of some other lands adjoining the Barabati Stadium will also be undertaken during the exercise. The exercise is being conducted to ascertain whether the 634 decimals of disputed land was part of the land leased out to the OOA and whether there were any kind of violations, sources said.
The measurement exercise will continue for a few more days and the three-member judicial committee will submit its report to the Odisha High Court which in turn will submit the same to the Supreme Court, the sources added.
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 judge (ADJ) of Cuttack BK Mishra and Kendrapara ADJ Kirti Chandra Barik are its other two members.
It may be recalled that on May 7 this year, the Supreme Court had ordered the 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, would conduct an on-the-spot inquiry. The chief secretary and Revenue secretary were directed by the apex court to assist the panel in its inquiry.
The High Court had earlier 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.