BERHAMPUR: In a significant judgment, the Ganjam District and Sessions Court on Tuesday declared Berhampur Mayor K Madhavi’s election as corporator to the civic body invalid. District Judge Malay Ranjan Dash pronounced the judgment after hearing completed in the case. Former Mayor Siba Shankar Dash had filed the petition challenging Madhavi’s election. Following the verdict, Madhavi also became disqualified to be the Mayor under Section 70 (3) (1) of the Odisha Municipal Act.
On December 16, 2014, Siba had filed the petition in the district court seeking declaration of Madhavi’s election as corporator invalid under Odisha Municipal Act on the grounds that she does not know Odia and also concealed the fact in the affidavit that she opted for second marriage without obtaining divorce from her first husband.The court took cognisance of the prayer and issued notices to Madhavi, her former husband J Laxmana and current husband Venketramanna besides Siba.
In her deposition, Madhavi said her first marriage was solemnised as per their caste proceedings and against her will. A few days after her marriage, parents of Madhavi and Laxmana agreed for divorce as per the caste procedure. After completing her education, Madhavi married Venketramanna. However, Siba contended that since Madhavi does not know Odia, she is ineligible to become a corporator as per Odisha Municipal Act. Moreover, there are no documents of her divorce.
After hearing both the parties and five witnesses, the District Judge disqualified Madhavi as corporator of Berhampur Municipal Corporation.Despite repeated attempts, Madhavi was not available for comment. However, her advocate Kishore Bisoi said they would approach the Orissa High Court against the judgment.