Assembly cannot debate sub-judice matter: Odisha Speaker



Bhubaneswar: Odisha Assembly Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat on Wednesday said that the House should not debate a matter pending in a court.

Amat said this while cancelling an adjournment motion debate on the port issue here. The Speaker, who had earlier allowed the debate after receiving a notice from Opposition Congress, explained that he was not aware about the status of the matter.

"I was not aware that a PIL on port issue has been filed in court," he said, adding that he accepted the Opposition's notice in the morning and allowed it without consulting the government.

Earlier while allowing the adjournment motion, the Speaker asked the Commerce and Transport Minister Subrat Tarai to make a statement on the subject. The Speaker had also read out names of the members who would participate in the debate.

Tarai said since the matter was under consideration of the Orissa High Court, it should not be debated in the House.

This apart, the minister said since the Speaker had earlier said that the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) would be discussed in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), there was no point in holding any discussion on the matter in the House.

Accepting the minister's views, the Speaker cancelled the debate even after it was already initiated in the House.

"This is for the first time in the history of the Odisha Assembly that a debate has been stopped after its initiation," Congress Whip Prasad Harichandan said.

Protesting cancellation of the debate on the grounds that it was sub-judice, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh of Congress said the Speaker had allowed an adjournment motion discussion on the same port issue on April 8, 2011 when the matter was also sub-judice.

"The state government is afraid of a debate as the CAG has already pointed out several deficiencies in implementation of port projects," Harichandan alleged.

The auditor had already pointed out Rs 10,000 crore loss to the state exchequer due to faulty implementation of guidelines under the port policy, he claimed.

PTI