Case Title: Samarendra Beura v. Principal Secretary to His Excellency The Governor of Odisha

A plea was filed as a post-election petition in Odisha High Court to expedite the disqualifications of certain members of the state legislative assembly for being MLA under Article 191(1)(a) of the Constitution at the time of their election. The petitioner prayed the court to direct the Governor under Article 192 of the Constitution to dispose of the same no later than November 8th. The grievance of the Petitioner is that his application dated 28th May 2019 to the Governor of Odisha to treat the earlier petition dated 21st May 2019 afresh as a post-election petition under Article 192 of the Constitution of India seeking disqualification of the persons listed in Schedule-I for being chosen as, and for being, Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), under Article 191(1)(a) of the Constitution of India at the time of their election, has not yet been disposed of in accordance with the law.

Brief facts of the case involved that the Odisha Offices of Profit (Removal of Disqualifications) Amendment Act, 2016 was enacted with a retrospective effect from 18th January 2016 including certain categories of offices that would not attract such disqualification. Thereafter, the Government of Odisha appointed Chairpersons to the 30 District Planning Committees with Minister of State rank and status on 9th August 2019. The Petitioner then filed a fresh petition before the Governor on 27th September 2019 under Article 192 of the Constitution of India seeking their disqualification.

The Petitioner used as precedent the case before the Supreme Court in Brundaban Nayak v. Election Commission of India which had ruled that complaints under Article 192 of the Constitution seeking disqualification of MLAs must be disposed of as expeditiously as possible.
In pursuance of this, the court comprising bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice S.K Panigrahi stated  “..this Court directs that Petitioner’s two petitions dated 28th May 2019 and 27th September 2019 shall be disposed of by the Governor of Orissa, after obtaining an opinion from the Election Commission of India, not later than 8th November 2021”

This article has been written by Abhilasha SG

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