Odisha: Sarpanch Loses Post For His Inability To Read & Write Odia

Bhubaneswar: The Court of the Civil Judge (Junior Division), Dhenkanal, has declared election of Kailash Chandra Dehury, Sarpanch of Gengutia Gram Panchayat under Sadar block, as void. The 62-year-old has been disqualified under Section 11 (B) of the Orissa Gram Panchayats Act, 1964, for not being able to read and write Odia.

“This election petition is allowed in part, but without costs. In terms of Section 39 of the Act, the election of opposite party no. I is hereby declared void as he stands disqualified being not able to read and write “Oriya” on the date of election as required by Section II(b) of the Act. In view of the ruling in Basant Kumar Sahoo (supra), in terms of Section 38(2)(a) of the Act, a casual vacancy is to be created and fresh election has to be conducted,” read the order passed on February 28.

Civil Judge (Junior Division) Sudhi Ranjan Dash also ordered the creation of a casual vacancy and the conduct of a fresh election for the post of Sarpanch while hearing a petition filed by Purusottam Dehury, whom Kailash defeated in 2022 Panchayat election.

Besides alleging that Kailash was illiterate, Purushottam claimed that he had submitted a false affidavit regarding his list of properties, bank accounts, educational qualification and other points laid down in the Election Manual.

Kailash, however, said that he can read and write Odia and would move a higher court against the order.

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