Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Monday decided to close the election petition pertaining to the Bijepur Assembly constituency on account of the death of the only respondent in the petition.
Justice Debapriya Dash, who had reserved his verdict after completion of hearing on the petition last Friday, pronounced his judgment on Monday. Although the pending petition was in no way harming the looming by-election in the constituency, the Monday verdict removed all doubts.
The petition had been filed by BJD leader and present Rajya Sabha member Prasanna Acharya, who had challenged the April 2014 election of Congress leader Subal Sahu from this constituency. Sahu, however, died in August this year.
“Following the death of Sahu, his family members had appealed to the High Court to close the pending election petition and submitted the death report in the court,” informed Sahu’s counsel Tarini Kanta Biswal, saying the High Court decided to close the petition as it did not merit a trial.
Since the petitioner had only prayed for setting aside the election of Sahu and to order for a fresh poll to fill up the casual vacancy, the court did not feel it necessary to hold trial as a casual vacancy in the constituency has already occurred following the death of the elected candidate, Biswal said.