HC admits contempt writ against Speaker, issues notice

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the state government asking it why the Speaker had not implemented the orders passed by it on an application by state NCP president Utkal Ranjan Parida.

A Division Bench comprising Justices Indrajit Mahanti and B N Mohapatra taking up a contempt petition filed against Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat issued notice and fixed April 12 for the next hearing of the case.

Parida had last month filed the petition alleging that the Speaker was deliberately and wilfully disobeying the orders passed by a division bench of the high court and a three-member bench of the Supreme Court.

While the Orissa High Court on September 23 last year had asked the Speaker to dispose the application of Parida within eight weeks, the Supreme Court too had asked the Speaker todispose of it by January 7 this year.

But the Speaker did not take steps to implement the orders of both the courts, the petition alleged.

Parida had sought disqualification of all four NCP MLAs, who had voluntarily given up their memberships from the party and had joined the ruling BJD in June last year.

The Speaker had challenged the high court order in the Supreme Court which had dismissed his petition on January 17 this year upholding the the Orissa High Court order.

The Supreme Court had asked the Speaker on December 13 last year to dispose off the application of Parida by January 7 this year.

But instead of acting upon the application of Parida, the Speaker had referred the matter to the privilege committee of the House seeking a report, the petitioner's counsel Gopal Agarwal alleged saying the seven-member privilege committee was unable to discuss it due to lack of quorum.