Odisha minister murder: BJP questions ‘court-monitored’ probe


Bhubaneswar: Continuing its attack on the Odisha government over murder of minister Naba Das, the BJP on Tuesday raised questions on appointment of a retired judge to monitor the Crime Branch probe into the case.

Addressing a press conference here, Odisha BJP spokesperson Pitambar Acharya said: “The BJD leaders are claiming that it is a court-monitored investigation, which is totally false. The Orissa High Court has not issued any judicial order for monitoring of the crime branch probe by a retired judge (J.P. Das).”

Acharya urged the state government to produce the request letter it had sent to Orissa High Court for the appointment of a judge/retired judge to monitor the probe and the Orissa HC order on the appointment of Justice Das.

“Which order/writ petition or judicial proceedings has allowed appointment of a retired judge to supervise the probe?” asked Acharya, who is also a senior advocate.

The appointment of Justice Das is neither a judicial proceeding nor a consultation under the Commission of Inquiry Act, he claimed and urged the state government not to misuse the name of the High Court and uphold its dignity as people have faith in the constitutional institute.

Claiming that the appointment of retired High Court judge, Justice Das is illegal, he demanded that the case should be handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for proper investigation.

As the state government and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik do not have faith in the Crime Branch investigation, they have reportedly requested the Orissa High Court to monitor the investigation, the BJP leader alleged.

Reacting to the allegation of BJP, senior BJD leader and government chief whip in Assembly Prasanta Muduli said: “The opposition has a habit of making comments on every issue. The Crime Branch is investigating the matter under the supervision of the judiciary. The society and democracy will not survive if they don’t have faith in the judiciary.”

Meanwhile, the Crime Branch recreated the crime scene by taking the accused police ASI (now dismissed) to the spot in the presence of a forensic expert. Justice Das and Odisha DGP Sunil Bansal have reached Jharsuguda to look into the status of the Crime Branch’s investigation into the sensational murder case.

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( With inputs from )

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