NCP legislators seek time to file affidavit

Bhubaneswar: The National Congress Party (NCP) MLAs on Friday sought 10 days time from the Odisha Assembly Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat to file additional counter affidavit on the membership disqualification issue. 
 
Upendra Samal, lawyer of the legislators said, “During the hearing I observed the urgency to reply in this matter and requested the Speaker to allow two weeks time to file additional counter affidavit while the hearing should continue.” 
 
Though the time period was objected by Gopal Agarwal, the counsel of NCP President Utkal Keshari Parida, the Speaker after hearing both sides allowed 10 days time to the legislators’ lawyer for the affidavit.
 
“We’ll file additional counter affidavit on 22th April and the opposite party has been allowed by the Speaker for rejoinder counter affidavit on the same day,” Samal said.
 
Following Amat's recent summon for hearing, Parida and four legislators- Amar Prasad Satpathy, Prasant Nanda, Ramachandra Hansda and Naveen Nanda appeared before the Speaker to put forward their views through their respective lawyers.
 
Earlier Parida had moved the High Court seeking membership disqualification of the four MLAs after the legislators merged in BJD on June 5, 2012. The HC, in its hearing on September 27, 2012, had directed the Speaker to decide on the issue within eight weeks.
 
Amat had challenged the HC order in Supreme Court through a special leave petition (SLP) which too was upheld in the apex court on January 17, 2013. Even as the Speaker had again prayed the apex court for review of its January 17 order, the court again turned down the review petition asking him to decide on the disqualification issue within eight weeks.
 
Meanwhile, the HC will hear Parida's contempt of court petition against Amat.  Prompted by the apex court’s judgment and the inordinate delay in carrying out the order on the issue, the NCP state chief had filed a contempt of court petition in the HC.