Orissa files contempt case against KoPT

Cuttack: The BJD government today filed a petition in the Orissa High Court seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) alleging the KoPT had acted in `blatant disregard` and `overreached` an interim order passed by Orissa High Court in May this year.

The high court on May 5 this year had restrained the KoPT from going ahead on its proposal to extend the port limits and had asked both the central government and the KoPT authorities not to further the matter till consideration of the interim prayer.

Pending a response from Centre, the matter has not been taken up by the high court as yet for further adjudication.

An additional secretary of Orissa government in the department of commerce and transport has filed the petition stating that the interim order passed by the Orissa High Court in May this year was reiterated on June 21 and July 19 and the same order is still in force as the matter was scheduled to be adjudicated again on September 15 (today).

The petitioner alleged the KoPT as part of its expansion bid to build a transloading terminal at Kanika Sands Island, has invited bids and is now waiting for a nod from Union Shipping ministry to ink agreement with select bidders by this year-end.

"It therefore appears?that in spite of interim orders which are in force on date, KoPT is seeking to overreach the order and acting in blatant disregard thereof by seeking to precipitate the matters further. Such action on the part of KoPT is per se contumacious," the Orissa government contested.

It may be recalled here that Keonjhar Navanirman Parishad, an outfit headed by advocate Dilip Mohapatra had filed a PIL in Orissa High Court challenging the proposed alteration of KoPT in which the Orissa government was made a party.

Subsequently the Orissa government in an affidavit to the High Court had maintained that KoPT move would affect seven upcoming ports in the State.

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