Supreme Court orders CBI probe in Odisha’s Barabati stadium land encroachment
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a CBI probe into the alleged land encroachment by the Odisha Olympic Association (OOA) in Barabati Stadium, which is located on government land.
The apex court directed the central probe agency to investigate into the construction of a Kalyan Mandap and 23 shops by the OOA inside the stadium and the financial fraud arising out of the rents received from the ‘illegal’ establishments.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra also banned OOA general secretary Asirbad Behera from contesting for any post in the association.
The court said the illegal constructions were carried out with the help of a firm in which Behera’s son and son-in-law had stakes.
“Keeping in view the report of the accountant general and the grave doubt that emerges with regard to realisation of rent or otherwise, as we have already indicated earlier, there has to be investigation,” the court said, ordering the collector Cuttack to take over the possession of the shops and the Kalyan Mandap.
State department of revenue shall be entitled to maintain and receive rents, the court said as it barred tenants from filing any case against the authorities.
Justice Misra who authored the judgment said : “The association has raised construction by encroaching upon the government land and the expert engaged by the association gives the opinion that Rs97.33 lakh by way of rent had been earned.”
“The concept of conflict of interest is well established. A person who is accountable to the public and deals with public affairs is not expected, as required under the law, to have any personal interest. He is not to act in a manner where it is perceived that he is directly or indirectly the beneficiary; or for that matter, extends the benefit to a person of immediate proximity,” the bench said.
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