Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Nov 19:
The Odisha High Court today directed the state vigilance to submit the audit reports and resolution of the board of directors for the entire duration when former DGP Prakash Mishra was the chairman cum managing director (CMD) of the Odisha Police Housing and Welfare Corporation (OPHWC).
The court posted the next hearing in the case for December 9 and asked the vigilance to furnish all these documents on that date.
The High Court said its order of October 12 restraining the state government and the Vigilance department from taking any coercive action against the former DGP would prevail till further orders.
In his argument, Mishra’s counsel contended that the vigilance had presented only a section of the audit report, which gave a distorted picture of the whole things. The court accepted the argument and asked the vigilance to present the audit report and the resolutions of the board of directors for Mishra’s entire tenure.
The ruling came during the hearing of the petition filed by Mishra seeking quashing of the FIR slapped against him by the state vigilance department for causing pecuniary loss to the state exchequer by making advance payments to suplliers when he was CMD.
The FIR accused Mishra of irregularities in making advance payment of Rs 59 crore to some steel and cement supply firms during his tenure as CMD of the OPHWC between 2006 and 2009.
Mishra, a 1977-batch officer, who is presently posted as the special secretary, Internal Security, Government of India, was the chairman-cum-managing-director of OPHWC between 2006 and 2009, in the rank of additional DGP.
On September 20, days after he went on Central deputation to New Delhi despite desperate efforts by the state government to block his way, the Bhubaneswar vigilance division registered a case against him under section 13(2) and 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and section 409 and 120-B of Indian Penal Code alleging that advance payment of Rs 59 crore was given to some steel and cement suppliers in 2009 in violation of existing rules.
Mishra had responded by filing a petition in the High Court accusing the government of mala fide and seeking quashing of the FIR against him. The state government’s move was designed to prevent him from becoming the CBI Direcitr, Mishra had alleged in the petition.
In statements given the media after the state government move,, Mishra had hit back accusing the Naveen Patnaik government of ‘vendetta’ and wondering how the state government had invited him to become the DGP of the state in 2012, if there were such serious allegations against him.
The state government’s move had met with widespread condemnation and was seen as a move to scuttle his prospects as the next CBI chief.
Mishra is one of the front runners for the top CBI post.