Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baleswar, Jun 2:
Son of former Odisha minister Raghunath Mohanty, Rajashree, today rejected the reconciliation bid by his estranged wife, Barsa Swony Choudhury, during the hour-long counselling session held at a Family Court here.
Mohanty Jr said, there is no looking back after filing the divorce case.
“It is not possible to lead a life together as the matter has reached a point of no return. The allegations against me and my family were baseless. It was a conspiracy to destroy my family. Her family has taken this matter to a lowest point; it is impossible to reconcile at this stage,” Rajashree told media persons here.
The Baleswar Family Court had asked the couple to appear before it for the counselling session today to persuade the duo to reunite and bury their differences..
The complainant and his wife were face-to-face today after two years of the high drama that ensued following the complaint of dowry torture levelled by Barsa.
On March 14, 2013, Barsa had accused Rajashree, her father-in-law Raghunath Mohanty, mother-in-law Pritilata Mohanty, sister-in-law Rupashree Madhual and brother-in-law Suvendu Madhual of torturing her physically and mentally for dowry.
The two counsellors from either side advised the estranged couple to patch-up and start life as husband and wife afresh. The counselling session continued for an hour. But Rajashree did not accept the proposal.
“From the very beginning, they had been planning to get rid of me. He has filed a divorce case. I never expected this and today also I don’t want a divorce. I told the court that I can lead a life again with him if they satisfy certain conditions. I asked him to discuss the matter for resolution, but he turned down the offer,” Barsa said after the counselling session.
As per sources, the main condition of Barsa was that her in-laws should return her belongings and the family members of Raghunath Mohanty including his daughter and son-in-law must admit their faults.
The marital discord among them took an ugly turn after Barsa filed a case at Baleswar Town Police Station under sections 498 (a) (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 448 (trespass), 506 (criminal intimidation), 34 (common intention) of the IPC and section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act (penalty for dowry).
After public outcry and Opposition protests, the five-time MLA resigned as Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Law and Information Technology on March 15, 2013.
Following the case, Rajashree was arrested by the Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) on March 17, 2013 from near Cuttack. After cooling his heels behind bars for 21 days, Rajashree was granted conditional bail on April 5, 2013 by Baleswar District and Sessions Court in the dowry case against him.
Subsequently, the then Basta BJD MLA Raghunath Mohanty and his wife were arrested on March 30 from West Bengal after evading police for a fortnight. However, the couple walked out of jail on April 2 on bail.
The incident cost Raghunath Mohanty a BJD ticket in the 2014 Assembly elections.