HC Slaps Rs 10K Penalty On Odisha MLA Md Moquim For 3rd Time
Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has again imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on MLA Mohammed Moquim for failing to present his arguments in his defense in the false affidavit case in which his election from Barabati-Cuttack constituency in 2019 has been challenged.
This is the third time Moquim has been asked to pay the fine by the HC. The court had first imposed a Rs 10,000 penalty on him for failing to appear and file an affidavit on August 4 – the date fixed by it. The HC again imposed Rs 10,000 as a cost for failing to present witnesses in his defence as per schedule on October 13.
BJD leader Debashish Samantaray has challenged the election of Moquim alleging the legislator had suppressed material facts about the criminal cases pending against him while filing his nomination papers.
Samantaray, who lost the election in the constituency in 2019, also accused Moquim of not disclosing correct facts about his assets and liabilities. The election petition was filed on July 3, 2019. The court had started hearing on the petition on November 22, 2019.
The HC had on November 8 decided to start with arguments from Moquim’s side. On November 13, Moquim’s counsel was to address the court first generally on the whole case and then the election petitioner was to give his reply on the matter.
However, when the matter was taken up on Monday, senior advocate Bidyadhar Mishra appearing for Moquim submitted that his health condition was not good for two days and sought adjournment to November 28. If the court has a serious objection to grant an adjournment for such period, the matter may be taken up on November 20, for argument, he said.
While adjourning the case to November 20, Justice S K Sahoo ordered imposition of cost of Rs 10,000 on Moquim. The fine is to be deposited by the respondent in the Orissa High Court Advocate’s Welfare Fund, the receipt of which shall be produced on the next date.