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Jittery Odisha govt out to delay hearing on ex DGP’s petition in High Court

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 24:

Hellbent on preventing former Odisha DGP Prakash Mishra from being considered for the post of CBI director,the Naveen Patnaik government is now working on the ways and means of delaying the hearing on the petition filed by the former in the High Court, challenging the vigilance case slapped against him.

The hearing in the case is scheduled to be taken up by the High Court on October 29.

Prakash-MishraAccording to sources, the latest move by the Odisha government to scuttle Mishra’s chances of becoming the CBI director, is aimed at creating the grounds to seek time from the court and ensure the hearing takes place after November 2, when the panel of the short-listed eligible candidates for the post is likely to be finalised in Delhi.

Mishra, who is now posted as the Special Secretary, Internal Security, Ministry of Home Affairs, is believed to be among the front-runners for this post.

On October 12, Justice SC Parija of the High Court while conducting the preliminary hearing on the petition filed by Prakash Mishra against the FIR filed by the state Vigilance, had restrained the Odisha government from taking any coercive action against him and had also issued notices to Odisha government and the Union government to file replies to Mishra’s contention that he was being unduly victimised by the state government.

The court had also called for all the relevant records of the case filed by the Vigilance.

Any move designed to delay the hearing in the case under whatever pretext will only establish mala fide on the part of the state government, a senior High Court lawyer told OST.

There are allegations that some of the top bosses in the state government are backing a Bihar-cadre IPS officer- who holds a senior position in the CBI- for the director’s post, allegedly for ‘mutual benefit’.