Former Berhampur mayor Siba Shankar Das will have to contest the assembly election from jail as the Orissa High Court refused to grant him bail on Tuesday.
Justice S K Sahoo rejected his bail plea in the case in which he was accused of forcibly occupying land of several people at Kanisi, his native village in Ganjam district.
Das, who is contesting the April 11 election as an Independent candidate from the Berhampur assembly seat, is in jail since January last year in connection with the case.
After the district sessions judge rejected his bail application last July, Das approached the high court seeking bail. The former mayor contended that he was booked for an incident of 2009 and it was a civil dispute and criminal proceedings should not have been initiated against him.
Objecting to his bail application, additional government advocate Janmejaya Katakia informed the court that Das was a habitual offender, involved in 53 criminal cases and he was also booked under the National Security Act.
He is an influential person and if he is released from jail, he is likely to influence witnesses, Katakia argued. Justice Sahoo then rejected the bail application of Das.