CUTTACK: The controversy over MLAs in the State holding office of profit with rank and status of minister in violation of Article 191(1) of the Constitution is back in focus with the Orissa High Court directing the Governor to dispose of two petitions seeking action against such legislators.
The court has directed the Governor to obtain opinion of the Election Commission of India (ECI) and dispose of the two petitions by November 8. The controversy had sparked off when one Samarendra Beura filed a petition seeking the court’s intervention against the Governor’s inaction on his petitions on December 6, 2019.
The court had admitted the petition on December 10, 2019 and issued notice to the Principal Secretary to Governor, ECI and the government. Advocate Sidharth Prasad Das appeared on behalf of the petitioner.
However, the case had remained in oblivion till the court disposed it of on Tuesday.
The two-judge bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice SK Panigrahi said, “In view of the limited nature of relief sought for and without expressing any opinion whatsoever on the merits of the petition, or the Odisha Offices of Profit (Removal of Disqualifications) Amendment Act 2016, this court directs that petitioner’s two petitions on May 28 and September 27, 2019 shall be disposed of by the Governor after obtaining opinion from the ECI, not later than November 8, 2021”.