Odishatv Bureau

Cuttack: In pursuance of the Supreme Court directive, the general secretary of Odisha Olympic Association (OOA) temporarily relinquished his charge at a special council meeting of the Association here today.

According to the vice chairman of OOA, Pratap Satpathy, members of the council unanimously approved the decision to hand over the charge of general secretary to the joint secretary of the association Rabindra Parida.

“As per the Supreme Court’s order, Asirbad Behera has be barred from holding office till April 13. We don’t know about the SC’s decision after April 13 and hence we have appointed Rabindra Parida as the acting general secretary of the association. Behera has not resigned, but has decided to stay away from the post till the next hearing on April 13. We don’t see any adverse effect on sports due to this change and we should all wait for the SC verdict on the matter,” said OOA spokesperson Pratap Satpathy.

The Supreme Court on March 9 directed Asirbad Behera to stay away from the post till the next hearing of the case scheduled on April 13.

While hearing the controversial land encroachment case, the apex court also asked the joint secretary of OOA to take charge as general secretary for this period.

Behera, who has held the office of general secretary for the last 28 years since 1988, welcomed the SC ruling.

The judicial committee, led by the Cuttack district judge, had submitted a detailed report to the Supreme court in Septemebr last year on the encroachment of government land by the State Olympic body.

In May 2015, the apex court had directed the Orissa High Court to form a three-member panel of judges headed by the district judge with two more additional judges nominated by the then acting Chief Justice of High Court to probe the alleged land encroachment on which the Barabati Palace and 23 shops have been erected.

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 built on the encroached land.

Acting on the directive of the apex court, the three-member judicial committee, led by Cuttack district judge Satya Narayan Mishra and additional district judges of Cuttack and Kendrapara BK Mishra and Kirti Chandra Barik as members, had conducted fresh measurement of the encroached land near the Barabati Stadium on September 2, 2015.