Panel to probe veracity of OOA encroachment

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today directed to form a judicial committee which will investigate whether Barabati Palace and adjoining 23 shops in Cuttack have been constructed on encroached land or on the property owned by Odisha Olympic Association (OOA).

The apex court also asked Odisha accountant-general (AG) to submit a report on the fiscal transactions of Barabati Palace, a marriage hall, and the business establishments adjacent to it, purportedly encroached by the State’s apex sports body.

As per the court’s direction, the committee will be headed by Cuttack district judge while two additional judges will be its members. They will be nominated by the acting chief justice of Orissa High Court. The committee will make an on-the-spot inquiry. The chief secretary and Revenue secretary have been directed to assist the panel in its inquiry.

Orissa 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.

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