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Rearrest of OJM leader was a mistake: Odisha govt tells SC

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, Apr 7:

The Odisha government on Monday told the Supreme Court that the rearrest of Odisha Jan Morcha (OJM) leader Sangram Mohanty by the Odisha Police on January 27 this year was a mistake.

Sangram Mahanty
Sangram Mohanty

Deposing before the division bench of the apex court, comprising Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice C Nagappan, Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi, representing the state government, admitted that the rearrest of Sangram Mohanty by the Odisha Police on January 27 this year was a mistake.

Assuring the court that such mistake would not be made henceforth, he said the state government has asked the police not to misuse their power and sensitively discharge their duty.

The bench, after hearing the case, disposed off the case after the assurance of the state government.

It may be mentioned that the Supreme Court, on February 6 this year, had directed the state government to immediately release Sangram Mohanty, son of Jana Adhikar Manch (JAM) convener Dandapani Mohanty, and asked the state chief secretary to file an affidavit within four weeks as to why the cases filed against Sangram Mohanty should be not transferred to the CBI.

The state government had filed an affidavit before Supreme Court in September last year stating that it had registered 15 cases against Sangram, who was arrested on December 5, 2012.

However, the apex court later granted him bail in eight cases on September 19 last year after hearing the arguments from both the sides. The Odisha High Court later granted bail to Mohanty in the seven other cases.

By virtue of the bail, Sangram was to be released from Brahmapur Jail on January 27 this year. However, he was re-arrested by the Badagada Police and taken to an undisclosed destination.

Police later claimed that Sangram was re-arrested as he is an accused in two more cases of 2011.

Challenging the action of the Odisha Police, Sangram’s lawyer Suresh Tripathy later moved the apex court stating that the re-arrest of Sangram was an act of terrorism and anarchy by the state government. He prayed to the court that the cases registered against Sangram be transferred to CBI as no fair investigation was possible since the police is a party to all the cases.

Acting on the petition, the apex court had directed the state government to file a counter which the latter submitted in the last week.