Orissa HC Chief Justice to hear SEC appointment issue

Cuttack: A bench of Chief Justice of Orissa High Court Vineet Saran will hear the petition, which was filed challenging the appointment of new State Election Commissioner (SEC) Naba Kumar Nayak.

A bench of Justices Subash Chandra Parija and Debabrata Das on Wednesday heard the plea filed by state BJP vice-president Samir Mohanty, who challenged the validity of the appointment of Naba Kumar Nayak as State Election Commissioner (SEC).

The bench observed that as it is a constitutional case, it sent the case to the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court.

During the hearing, senior advocate Pitambar Acharya argued that the appointment of the SEC unconstitutional, illegal and politically motivated.

Notably, Samir Mohanty urged the court to terminate Nayak’s appointment.

Chief Secretary, the SEC and secretaries of Governor, Housing and Urban Development and Panchayati Raj departments were made parties to the case.

The petition alleged that as per norms, a Chief Secretary rank official should be appointed to a key position like SEC.

However, the state government appointed a retired and lower rank official in violation of the guidelines, the petitioner alleged.

A delegation of BJP leaders led by Odisha unit vice president Sameer Mohanty on Wednesday met Governor SC Jamir opposing the appointment of Naba Kumar Nayak as the SEC.

They alleged that the appointment of Nayak has been done to help the state government keeping in view the upcoming urban local body (ULB) elections in 2019.