SECOND DAY LOST TO OLA UNDER BLAST OF BLACK MONEY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa Legislative Assembly lost its second day this session under blast of black money as the Congress members blocked the proceedings demanding procedural statement from Samir De who, when a minister, had alleged that victory of BJD in Cuttack Municipal Corporation election was not a political victory of Chief Minister Navin Patnaik, but was a victory of his black money.

Another minister belonging to BJP branch of the ruling coalition like De, Golak Bihari Nayak has also raised the same allegation of black money use by the CM in influencing voters for BJD.

Though De has resigned, Nayak has not.

These two ministers, who were actively associated with electioneering in Cuttack City and Baripada Town respectively having raised this allegation against their own Chief Minister, the Opposition, specifically the Congress, finds no need of further corroboration of corruption charges against Navin.

The CM could have done better by making an honest statement. But he seems too demoralized to come up with one.

The way he involved himself with electioneering for his party candidates for the Municipal wards was blatantly unprecedented. No Chief Minister of Orissa had at any point of time personally joined campaigns for Municipal Councils. Navin’s campaign was more than aggressive. This very unusual conduct of the CM might have been propelled by his eagerness to overcome latent fear of defeat as internal fear alone gives birth to external aggressiveness.

His entire tenure as chief minister has gone barren. Born a lingua-non-Oriya he has insulted the peoples’ mother tongue by obliterating the primacy of Oriya as the official language of Orissa and by rendering Orissa’s Official Language Act inoperative. He has squandered away the land, minerals and natural resources of Orissa in favor of non-Oriya and non-Indian capitalists. He had encouraged internecine enmity amongst the sons of Oriya soil over the issue of handing over Orissa’s natural assets to non-Oriyas. The most peaceful and pleasant land Orissa has been transformed to a place of violence and anarchy where mothers are compelled to distress sell babies, farmers are compelled to distress sell paddies, girls are compelled to distress sell bodies and intellectuals are compelled to distress sell their intelligence. During his rule, every icon of Orissa’s pride, its biospheres, its mountains, its rivers, its forests, its natural storehouses of precious minerals are being sold away to non-Oriyas.

His Goebbels are busy in projecting him as creator of everything good that is happening in Orissa. But peoples know where their shoes pinch.

Navin also knows that a time will come when his Goebbels will fail. This is why he wants to win elections at any cost. This is why he himself dragged down the position of the Chief Minister to electioneering in Municipal wards. No wonder peoples believe in De and Nayak as they raise allegation of black money use by the CM to net in votes.

The matter should be thoroughly investigated into in interest of democracy.

In view of this, there is nothing unusual in Opposition demands for statutory statements over the black money use in Municipal elections by the Chief Minister. And there is no illegality in Opposition intention to move a no-confidence motion against the CM.

The Speaker’s refusal to entertain the motion of no-confidence today under the plea of paucity of time may be not incorrect on part of the Speaker; but that the second day of the session is lost to the Assembly over the blast of black money is enough to keep the face of democracy blackened for ever.

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TOP OFFICERS ON TETHER: HIGH COURT REFUSES TO WAIVE PUNISHMENT

BETTER STILL IS TO PUNISH THE COLLABORATORS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Secretary Madhusudan Padhi,IAS and Director Suman Mohapatra, OES of Higher Education under Government of Orissa are refused the luxury of waiver on cash penalty and jail in default imposed on both of them by the Orissa High Court for their individual role against the Rules of the land in matter of regularization of service of a private college laboratory attendant.

The report on the court’s original order was published in these pages on January 31.

Found guilty of contempt shown to the Court’s competent orders for fitment of applicant Debendranath Barik, working in J.N.College of Kuanpal since May 25,1993, into the legitimate scale of pay and clearance of his dues within a stipulated time, the Court had given these officers an award of cash penalty of Rs.10, 000.00 each that they were to pay within seven days failing which imprisonment for a month was to commence.

Instead of making the payment, they wanted the contempt punishment inoperative by expressing their preference to go to the Supreme Court against the contempt order. The Government lawyer appearing on behalf of them pleaded for time to deposit the money. That was rejected.

From the role played by the government lawyer in the instant case it is clear that the state government protects both these officers and if they are to pay the cash penalty, the state exchequer is to bear the expense.

The Court has taken cognizance of contempt against these two officers because of their personal contemptuous conduct and has dovetailed the cash penalty with imprisonment on default. These two officers are therefore personally convicted of contempt and if they do not pay the awarded amount in cash, they are to be taken into the prison personally.

So, how does the government come in? How does the government pleader appears for them and assures to pay the cash and begs for time?

The government has been asked by the Court to desist from discriminating against an employee and to pay him his dues by fitting him into legitimate scale of pay with retrospective effect. Government is bound to honor that order or is competent to move the Apex Court in appeal against that. But it has no role in contempt against the High Court. The two top officers have personally failed to comply with the Court’s direction to them and / or to inform the court personally as to who debarred them from implementing of the Courts direction, even though they were given adequate opportunity for that.

Habit of ignoring the authority of law has made them so bold that they even did not take the Court’s order for personal presence to apprise the Court of the reasons of non-implementation of its order worthy of attention.

Viewed from any angle the action of the two officers cannot but be contemptuous against the highest judiciary of the state.

If the Court is to entertain the government lawyer in contempt proceeding against these two officers, it should accept that the State Government, meaning the Chief Minister himself has abetted with the crime of contempt against the Court. If the two officers, in order to avoid imprisonment at the last moment, make payment of the cash penalty from the state exchequer it should have only one meaning and that is, the Chief Minister and /or whosoever sanctions the amount from the State Exchequer is guilty of the contempt.

The High Court in the instant case has basically taken a very principled stand. It should not allow the taxpayers to be punished for the contempt committed against it by individual functionaries.

Tethering official law-breakers is good; but better is taking to task their collaborators.

SAMIR DE GETS OUT, BUT MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO ESCAPE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Samir De has resigned from the cabinet while holding the portfolio of higher education.

Chief Minister Navin Patnaik has given it effect on February 9.

De should have been dismissed after his steps to wipe out Oriya in higher education was exposed in these pages. The principled discussions in these pages that were circulated by local media had then compelled De to retrace his steps but our demand for his dismissal to avenge the insult he had inflicted upon our mother tongue was sloughed over by Navin born with a non-Oriya tongue.

However, his resignation could not have been accepted had the Opposition not declared to take the Chief Minister into task for having corrupted Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) election by greasing voters’ palms with “black money” on the basis of categorical allegations raised openly by De.

If De is wrong, how does he continue as a cabinet minister? Asked the Opposition.

To save his skin Navin had to organize the resignation episode.

But De must not be allowed to escape.

He has raised a very serious allegation against the Chief Minister. But he has not resigned on repentance over the allegation. He has resigned by taking responsibility for the defeat of BJP in CMC. His allegations over use of black money by Navin Patnaik in CMC election that he had raised while continuing as a cabinet minister stands as yet.

He must be required to substantiate his allegations or to face prosecution for the mischief he has played against the public.

CONGRESS CARPED OVER MISUSE OF GOVERNOR

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Carping over the misuse of Governor in turning the Assembly into a launching pad of the government’s false propaganda, the Congress legislators left the Hall while Governor Chandrakant Bhandare was delivering his address on February 9.

The new Leader of Opposition “appointed” by the lady autocrat of the Congress Party for the Orissa Legislative Assembly, Ramachandra Ullaka, laughed at the Governor’s address by making a parallel address to the House when Bhandare was reading out his speech customarily prepared by the government. The Congress members rushed into the well of the hall and tore apart the copies of the Governor’s speech, threw the torn pieces at the Speaker’s podium from where Bhandare was delivering it and then left the Hall claimed in protest.

However, after the Governor’s speech, they returned into the hall and expressed with the House obituary honor for Orissa’s former Leader of Opposition Asok Das and former President of India R. Venkataraman.