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Act 131 stands barrier for Kotia: Odisha to file petition urging to reopen the rejected case

20/02/2021 at 12:03 PM

Bhubaneswar, Feb 20: Government of Odisha is readying to file a new case in the Supreme Court on Kotia border dispute. It will appeal the apex court to reopen the rejected case that was disposed of by virtue of Central Government Act 131 in 2006.

The two neighbouring states have longstanding legal dispute over Kotia. Odisha government has filed a number of cases against Andhra to prohibit its illegal trespassing into Odisha’s territory.

Odisha had filed the first case on Kotia in the Supreme Court in 1968 to prevent illegal access of Andhra into 21 villages in Odisha near Patangi.

 Hearing the case, the Supreme Court ordered Odisha to submit relevant records and documents in support of Odisha’s possession.

Odisha government had submitted relevant records including agreement and pact signed between Andhra and Odisha on Kotia in 1920,1923 and 1927.

However, the apex court noted that the submitted records belonged to the period before the enactment of  Indian Constitution. Thus, the case was disposed of on March 30, 2006 by virtue of Act 131 of Indian Constitution.Besides,the apex court ordered on December 2,2006 to maintain status quo on the matter.     

Recently, Odisha government has filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court on February 11 citing Andhra’s election process in six villages near Kotia.

Meanwhile, Andhra has filed an affidavit asserting that Kotia is in its possession since 1952. Moreover, it has been conducting formal elections in Kotia since then.

On the other hand, the apex court has granted 4 weeks time to Odisha government to file the counter affidavit.

Sources said Odisha government will submit all statutory records on Kotia along with the age old documents of pacts and agreements to justify the claim that Kotia is a part of Odisha. A legal panel comprising advocates Vikash Singh and Sibo Shankar Mishra on behalf of Odisha is on to comply counter reply in time. Besides, the panel works out on another case to move the Supreme Court praying to reopen the previous case on the ground that it is not in consonance with Act-131.

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