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Ramakanta Biswas

The Supreme Court has once again deferred the hearing of a contempt of court petition filed by the Odisha government against Andhra Pradesh government in connection with the border dispute in Kotia region of Koraput district.

A division bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar heard the contempt petition (C) No 172/2021 (The State Of Odisha Petitioner (S) Versus Mude Hari Jawaharlal & Ors.) on Wednesday and deferred the hearing until the pronouncement of judgment in another petition filed by Odisha (Diary No. 2175 of 2022).

Upon hearing the counsel, the bench in its order said, “Hearing of this matter is deferred until the pronouncement of judgment in Diary No. 2175 of 2022. However, liberty is given to the parties to mention this matter in the event of change situation, if any.”

During the hearing, the Odisha government, which has filed a plea in the Apex court seeking contempt action against some senior officials of Andhra Pradesh for notifying Panchayat polls in three disputed areas in Kotia, said they have also filed a suit in the Apex court challenging the Constitutional validity of Article 131 proviso which was inserted in 1956. 

Article 131 of the Constitution deals with the original jurisdiction of the top court in any dispute between the states or between the Centre and, one or more, states. 

Speaking to OTV, Odisha government’s counsel Sibo Sankar Mishra said, “The contempt petition was again listed for hearing today (Wednesday). During the hearing, we informed the court that we on behalf of the Odisha government have filed another contempt suit against the Andhra government.” 

He added, “We also apprised the top court that we held Panchayat elections in Kotia and the voter turnout was about 76.3 per cent. After hearing our submission, the court has agreed to hear the suit,” Mishra added.

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