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Kotia panchayat polls: SC grants four weeks to Odisha to file reply to Andhra Pradesh

ANI | Updated: Feb 19, 2021 23:10 IST

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], February 19 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the Odisha government's request for additional time to file its reply to the Andhra Pradesh government's affidavit in connection with the inter-state border dispute between the two states over holding elections by the Andhra government in three villages of Kotia gram panchayat in Koraput district of Odisha.
The Odisha government in its contempt petition filed before the apex court stated that Kotia panchayat belongs to Odisha and the Andhra government cannot hold panchayat election in three villages there.
A division bench of the apex court, headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar and also comprising Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, allowed the prayers of senior lawyer and former Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Vikas Singh, who appeared for the Odisha government and stated that Odisha be given some time to file its reply on the Andhra Pradesh government's affidavit.
"We allow the prayer and adjourn the matter for four weeks," the bench led by Justice Khanwilkar said.
In its affidavit, the Andhra Pradesh government stated that it did not violate any order from the Supreme Court and also did not breach any kind of undertaking or its direction and it has been duly administrating its own territories and has not infringed upon the area of Odisha.

The Andhra Pradesh government also sought the apex court's direction and/or order to dismiss the contempt petition filed by the Odisha government.
However, in its petition, the Odisha government alleged that the Andhra Pradesh government has allegedly notified panchayat polls in three villages of Kotiya gram panchayat, located in Odisha's Koraput district.
The state government, thereby, sought contempt action against the Andhra Pradesh government for alleged violation of the status quo agreed upon by the two states.
The Odisha government had moved the apex court to also seek a direction for a stay on the notification issued by Andhra Pradesh for holding elections in three Kotia villages.
The Odisha government, in its petition filed before the apex court, submitted that Andhra Pradesh had allegedly willfully and deliberately violated the Supreme Court order of December 2, 1968, and the judgment of March 30, 2006, by transgressing into its territory.
The state government further claimed in its petition that the apex court had in its verdict in 1968 and 2006 had asked both the states to maintain a status quo with regard to the boundary dispute related to the Kotia group of villages in Odisha's Koraput district. (ANI)