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Kharavela files PIL in SC; seeks review of bail to ex Odisha AG

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Nov 21:

‘Utkal Bharat’ President Kharabela Swain on Thursday filed a PIL in the Supreme Court questioning the manner in which former Odisha Advocate General (AG) Ashok Mohanty was granted bail in the chit fund case by the High Court and seeking review of the decision.

Former Advocate General Ashok Mohanty at the CBI office in Bhubaneswar on Saturday (Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra)
Former Advocate General Ashok Mohanty at the CBI office in Bhubaneswar on Saturday
(Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra)

In his PIL, Swain has raised objection to the protests and strike by High Court bar council and bar association after the arrest of the former AG which shut down the High Court and many district sessions courts. The lawyers of the HC bar council had moved the High Court bypassing the district and sessions court since they apprehended that the latter could deny bail to Mohanty, like the special CBI court had done before, making it difficult for the High Court to grant him bail, he pointed out..

In a move that made the whole affair suspicious, the High Court had asked the Bhubaneswar District Sessions Court to wrap up the hearing of bail plea of ex-AG Mohanty by 11 AM of next day- i.e – September 26 and hand over a copy of the judgment by 1 pm. Also the senior CBI counsel was directed to submit the case diary and CBI court order rejecting Mohanty’s bail plea in the district and sessions court by 10 AM on September 26 and district sessions court was asked to send a copy of the verdict to Mohanty by 1 PM of the same day, the former Balasore MP said.

The PIL indicates that the moves by High Court was made to facilitate easier bail for Mohanty who could have availed bail from High Court at 2 PM had it been rejected by the sessions court at 11 AM.

Swain also pointed out that the bar association chief, who supervised the strike to bail out ex AG Ashok Mohanty, was later appointed Advocate General by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, which showed how deep the connections of chit fund companies went.

Earlier, Swain had written two letters to the chief Justice of The Supreme Court and Senior Judge of the SC Justice TS Thakur. The court had returned the letters to Swain while suggesting that he was free to seek legal remedy.

The High Court Bar Association, however, has rejected Swain’s charges. “We objected to the manner in which Mohanty was publicly humiliated by the CBI and not to the probe against him,” Association secertary Bidyadhar Pradhan said in Cuttack.