SC asks AG to audit irregularities in OOA

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar/Cuttack: The Supreme Court today ordered the Accountants General (AG) to conduct an audit on the alleged land encroachment by Odisha Olympic Association (OOA) and submit a report within six weeks.
Besides, the apex court asked the AG to form a committee comprising Cuttack collector and two additional district magistrates (ADMs) for the same.

Welcoming Supreme Court’s order OOA general secretary Ashirbad Behera said, “The Supreme Court has ordered to audit whether funds collected by OOA as rent from the 23 shops and Barabati Palace have been properly utilised or not.”

The SC ruling followed its December 12 order staying a Crime Branch probe that Orissa High Court had ordered into the dispute over the land allegedly encroached by the sports body near Barabati stadium in Cuttack.
The High Court had on November 29 asked the State government to take possession of encroached government land adjoining the stadium. The property on the land includes a sprawling marriage mandap and over a dozen business establishments.
OOA, which had got 20 acre of government land on lease for construction of Barabati stadium way back in 1949, subsequently encroached upon the 2-acre adjacent vacant government land in mid-70s.

Moreover, OOA also sub-leased the encroached land and developed various business establishments on it in 1986 and earned revenue.

Challenging the encroachment, the State government had in 2000 filed an eviction case. But OOA contested it in a civil court and in 2002 obtained a favourable decree.
The State government then moved the High Court against the judgement of the lower court.