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Speaker gets 7 days time to file counter on contempt plea

Cuttack: Odisha High Court on Monday asked Assembly Speaker Pradeep Kumar Amat to file a counter affidavit within seven days in response to a contempt petition filed against him by the state NCP president Utkal Ranjan Parida.

A Division Bench of Justices Indrajit Mahanti and B N Mohapatra after taking up the contempt petition against the Speaker earlier this month had asked the government counsel to get instructions from the Speaker on the issue.

Senior advocate Pitambar Acharya today appearing on behalf of the Speaker sought some more time from the Court to reply to the contempt petition. The HC gave only seven days to the Speaker to file his counters and posted the matter to be taken up on April 22.

Parida in March this year had 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 of the application of Parida within eight weeks, the Supreme Court too had asked the Speaker to dispose of the same by January 7. But the Speaker has not taken steps to implement the orders of both the Courts, the petition had 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 the state in June last year.

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