Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 10:
President of Utkal Bharat, a regional outfit, Mahameghabahan Aira Kharavela Swain has expressed deep concern over the manner in which lawyers of the state and the hounourable Odisha High Court expressed sympathy towards former advocate general Ashok Mohanty, who was arrested by the CBI for his alleged links with the chit fund scam before being released on bail.
In a letter addressed to the Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India, Swain has alleged partiality by the Odisha High Court and High Bar Council and Bar Association in Mohanty’s release on bail.
Giving the detailed background of Mohanty’s arrest by the CBI in connection with his purchase of a house at CDA in Cuttack from AT group chief Pradeep Kumar Sethi for Rs 1.01 crore, Swain said it was surprising that immediately after Mohanty was arrested, the Odisha High Court Bar Council and Bar Association went on a ceasework closing the High Court and other courts in the state for two days leading to harassment of public. Their only complaint: why was Ashok Mohanty arrested?
On September 25, the Odisha High Court conducted a hearing on Ashok Mohanty’s appeal and directed the Khordha district court to conduct a hearing in the matter the next day and even directed the additional chief judicial magistrate (CBI) court to hand over all documents in the matter to the Khordha district court in the first hour. No wonder, Mohanty was allowed to go on bail on September 26, Swain said.
Pointing out that three fourths of all inmates in Indian prisons are under trials, the former Balasore MP asked; “How many times have the lawyers and honourable High Court expressed similar swiftness and sympathy for the above-mentioned poor under trials the way they have done in the case of an accused in the chit fund scam? Is their act judicious and principled? Are these people of the judiciary above law?”
While welcoming the tough stand taken by the judiciary towards politicians, Swain questioned why it was so soft towards individuals of its own fraternity. “Are such acts raising their esteem in the eyes of the public?” Swain asked.
“If it desires absolute independence as it should, the judiciary has to prove that they deserve it. They simply cannot take advantage of the fact that nobody can challenge the judiciary. The people of this country do not want that the members of judiciary, who have been selected from among the lawyers, bow their heads before them,” Swain said in his letter.