State HC frames issues for trial in 2009 Sukinda poll

Cuttack: The state High Court on Friday framed nine issues for trial with respect to an election petition made by Congress leader Sarat Kumar Rout who had challenged the 2009 election of BJD leader Prafulla Chandra Ghadai from Sukinda Assembly constituency in Jajpur district.

Ghadai had won the elections by a thin margin of 2403 votes defeating Rout.

After submission of material prepositions of facts by the contesting parties as per the provisions of Civil Procedure Code (CPC), a single-judge bench of Justice Indrajeet Mahanty framed the issues and ordered the hearing to commence from August 31.

The High Court had earlier rejected twice the pleas of Ghadai, who had first sought to quash the petition against him at admission level for the same was devoid of sufficient material facts.

Later Ghadai`s plea to stop the hearing of the case for the same could disclose certain vital portions of elections matter, too was turned down by the HC.

Among the issues that have been framed for trial include the appearance of Ghadai`s name in the voters` lists of two neighbouring Assembly segments (Sukinda and Korei) and the failure on the part of the BJD leader to make an affidavit in this regard during filing of his nomination papers.

Double voting of at least 3000 BJD supporters in both Sukinda and Korei segments and double entry of at least 5000 voters in the electoral roll of the Sukinda segment were also the other issues that would be taken up during the trial.

Similarly, polling of at least 3000 votes in favour of the BJP candidate of Sukinda constituency in the April 2009 elections shall be also considered as an issue during the trial.

Rout had alleged that the candidature of the BJP candidate should have been summarily rejected in scrutiny as the saffron party leader had not submitted certain relevant affidavits during the time of filing his nomination papers.