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HC quashes Vigilance FIR against ex Odisha DGP

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, June 19:

The Odisha government today had egg all over its face when the High Court quashed the FIR lodged by Vigilance Directorate against former DGP Prakash Mishra.

Prakash-Mishra

In its observation, the court censured the Vigilance director for deliberately instituting a case against a senior IPS officer in the absence of sufficient prima facie evidence against him. The court said the Vigilance director had not discharged his responsibilities required in such cases.

The court was critical of the Vigilance director having assigned the investigation against a high-ranking police officer to an officer of DSP rank without being sure of sufficient prima facie evidence against him.

Terming the Vigilance director’s act as ‘irresponsible’, the court said had the Vigilance director had done due diligence in the matter, the need for registering of such a false and fabricated FIR would not have arisen.

The court has clearly stated in its observation that it’s not uncommon that upright and honest officers are made victims of the political establishment at different points of time.

In his reactions on the court’s order, Mishra told leading Odia news channel Kanak TV that it was a victory of truth and justice. He said his transparency had been proven in the court while the allegations against him had been proven to be false.

Replying to a question on why the government was after him, Mishra said he may have incurred the wrath of the government for ordering the seizure of cash being ferried for distribution among the voters during the last general elections.

It may be noted that Prakash Mishra, presently posted as CRPF DG, had moved High Court to quash the FIR registered by the Vigilance against him following a departmental inquiry into the procurement of building materials during the his tenure as chairman of Odisha Police Housing and Welfare Corporation (OPHWC) between 2005 and 2009.

The 1977 batch IPS officer was accused by the Vigilance of showing undue favours to some suppliers in 2006 thereby causing pecuniary loss to the state exchequer.

On September 20 last year, days after Mishra 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 Director, Mishra had alleged in the petition.