High court stays the nominations in Sahitya Akademy

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Bhubaneswar, Dec 25 (UNI) Orissa High Court has stayed the state cultural department's nomination for membership to the Sahitya Akademi General Council and fixed the date for next hearing on January 17.

Adjudicating a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a journalist, B K Dhal, a division bench of the court consisting of vacation judge Justice I M Kudusi and Justice A K Samantray yesterday directed the Sahitya Akademi (SA) not to constitute the general council until the next hearing.

The PIL said as per the rule the Sahitya Akademi should accept the recommendations of the state body for its general council members but the SA accepted the nomination made by the state cultural department.

The petitioner said Orissa Sahitya Akademi(OSA) had nominated the names of Binapani Mohanty, poet Ashutosh Parida and Basudev Sunani for the general council members while Dr Ganeswar Mishra was its president. The SA then had accepted the recommendations. But after Dipak Mishra took over as the president he cancelled the recommendations made earlier and sent three new names. But the state cultural department had cancelled the recommendations made by the OSA and recommended the names of Dr Prafulla Mohanty, Prabhakar Swain and Mr K C Mishra for the council. The SA then accepted it.

The petitioner argued that the government should not have encroached upon the independency of OSA by substituting its candidates and said it was illegal and unconvential to ignore the recommendation of Sahitya Akademi.

The petitioner said the recommendation was an outcome of favouritism and nepotism and prayed the court to quash the constitution of the general council.


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