Supreme Court asks Odisha, Andhra Pradesh to resolve Kotia border dispute bilaterally

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday advised the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh Governments to resolve the longstanding Kotia border dispute through bilateral discussions.

The court’s Constitution Bench comprising Justices Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna granted a period of six weeks to both the States to hold discussions and settle the issue through talks at political level.

On February 10, 2020, the Odisha Government had moved the Supreme Court seeking contempt of court proceedings against its Andhra Pradesh counterpart over the Kotia dispute in the wake of the announcement by the AP Government for holding panchayat polls in the disputed region of Koraput district. The Odisha Government had prayed before the court to expedite the hearing of the case.

In the petition, the Odisha Government mentioned that the Supreme Court in 1968 had ordered for maintenance of status quo in the disputed area. In its final hearing in 2006, the apex court had also upheld its earlier judgement.

Notably, the Kotia dispute is a long pending issue between the two States, which have been claiming sovereign rights over the area, which consists of 27 small tribal hamlets.