Illiteracy costs Sarpanch seat for woman

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Kendrapada, Jul 16 (UNI) The election of a woman sarpanch belonging to the ruling Biju Janata Dal(BJD) was set aside by a court as the elected sarpanch was found illiterate.

According to official sources, Indumati Dehuri had successfully contested the sarpanch election as BJD candidate in 2007 from Pakhar Gram Panchayat, defeating Congress candidate Jyotsnamayee Samal by a margin of six votes only.

During the filing of nomination paper,Congress candidate Jyotsnamayee Samal had strongly opposed the nomination paper of the BJD candidate before the Block Election Officer on the ground that she was an illiterate woman.

But the Election Officer did not pay any heed to the objection and allowed the BJD candidate to contest the election.

The defeated Congress candidate later filed a case against the elected Sarapanch in the District Judge Court, stating that as per section-11(B) of Orissa Gram Panchayat Ac,1964 an illiterate person is not entitled to work as Sarpanch.

Adjudging the case after cross checking all the relevant evidence, the Cuttack District Judge Court recently set aside the election of BJD candidate Indumati Dehuri and declared defeated Congress candidate Jyotsnamayee Samal as the Sarapanch of the Pakhar Gram Panchayat.

UNI XC-DP SJC RR ND2046

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