Uproar in Odisha Assembly over govt losing case against construction company

    Bhubaneswar, Jul 25 (PTI) The Odisha Assembly on Monday witnessed several adjournments as opposition members demanded a debate over the state government losing a case against a construction company and Speaker not allowing a debate on the issue.
    The issue was raised in the Assembly by the opposition BJP members who strongly objected to Speaker B K Arukha’s decision of rejecting the notice for a debate on the issue.
    While the Opposition BJP and Congress members demanded a debate, Speaker in a ruling said: “A review petition was earlier filed with the Supreme Court in connection on the matter. Hence, as per Rule 60 (VII), a matter which is already sub-judice cannot be debated on the floor of the House.”
    This irked the opposition members who trooped into the well of the House raising slogans against the state government. Unable to run the House, the Speaker adjourned the proceeding till post lunch session at 4 PM.
    The Opposition members said that a due of Rs 20 crore was not paid to the L&T on time and now that amount has escalated up to Rs 120 crore including interest. They demanded a clarification from the Works Minister.
    Opposition chief whip Mohan Majhi of BJP said that the matter was not sub-judice as the Apex Court was yet to hear the review petition of the state government.
    Congress whip MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati said that the state government did not give importance to the issue between 2004 and 2022 for which the construction company with court order seized government properties including some computers from the Nirman Bhavan here.
    As the computers have several important files, the government should blacklist such a company.
    The issue originates from a road construction work assigned to L&T. The company was awarded the work to construct the 166 km road from Sambalpur to Rourkela. The state government’s works department did not refund Rs 20 crore to the company even after completion of work.
    The company then moved the High Court and obtained judgment in its favour. The state government challenged the High Court judgement in the Supreme Court which upheld the order. The state government has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court, an official said on the status of the case.
    Meanwhile, the company moved the court of Civil Judge (Commercial) as the government did not make the payment even after the court order. The Civil Judge Court ordered the seizure of the property of the government when it did not take any action even after repeated notice. PTI AAM

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)