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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Sep 27:

The Orissa High Court today granted interim protection to Ravi Sharma, chief of leaking.in web portal against arrest by the police until further orders in connection with the FIR against him by four BJD MLAs.

Orissa High Court

The High Court issued the order while conducting a hearing on the anticipatory bail plea of Sharma.

The court further directed the police to submit the case diary (CD) in the matter.

Notably, leaking.in had conducted a sting operation in which four BJD MLAs— Susant Kumar Behera (Chhendipada), Seemarani Nayak (Hindol), Anam Nayak (Bhawanipatna) and Bijay Kumar Nayak (Karanjia)—were caught on camera seeking bribe from the journalist who acted as decoy industrialist. The MLAs in the sting operation were seen seeking bribe to help the industrialist set up industries in their constituencies.

The expose was aired by Kanak News following which Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had ordered a Vigilance inquiry into the incident.

Following the expose the four MLAs had lodged an FIR against Sharma claiming that they had been framed by him.

Later, the Vigilance had raided the web portal’s office on September 2 besides conducting raids on the house of a cameraman Saroj Kamila at Kamarda in Balasore district and Chandrasekharpur area here.

It may be recalled here that the anti-corruption wing had subsequently affixed notices (latka in local parlance) thrice at Sharma’s rented residence-cum-office in Bhubaneswar to appear before it since his place was locked. However, Sharma didn’t appear before the Vigilance.