Obtain opinion from the Election Commission not later than November 8, it says
The Orissa High Court has directed the Governor to dispose of two petitions seeking disqualification of MLAs, who were appointed as chairpersons to district planning committees, under the Odisha Offices of Profit (Removal of Disqualifications) Amendment Act, 2016
One Samrendra Beura had submitted a petition to the Governor seeking the disqualification in May 2019. In September, 2019, he again sought the disqualification of the MLAs under Article 192 (by obtaining the opinion of the Election Commission).
The Odisha Offices of Profit (Removal of Disqualifications) Amendment Act, 2016 was enacted with retrospective effect from January 18, 2016 including certain categories of offices that would not attract such disqualification. Thereafter, the government appointed chairpersons to the 30 district planning committees with Minister of State status on August 9, 2019.
Mr. Beura was, however, aggrieved that his petitions were not disposed of by the Governor. Since the members of the Orissa High Court Bar were on strike, he approached the Supreme Court which disposed of the petition granting him liberty to the approach the HC.
Subsequently, he approached the High Court of Delhi, which dismissed the petition on the ground of lack of territorial jurisdiction. Mr. Beura moved the Orissa HC again.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice S.K. Panigrahi said, “In view of the limited nature of relief sought for and without expressing any opinion whatsoever on the merits of the petition, or the Odisha Offices of Profit (Removal of Disqualifications) Amendment Act 2016, this court directs that petitioner’s two petitions shall be disposed of by the Governor of Odisha, after obtaining opinion from the Election Commission of India, not later than November 8, 2021.”
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