The Proposed Women University should be named after Bharat Chandra Nayak and established in Sambalpur

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Today is the day of Sambalpur.

This forenoon, there is going to be held a discussion on Bharat Chandra Nayak’s matchless autobiography – MOR PURBASMRUTI KATHA – in a hotel at under the banner of ‘Think Literature Festival-2014’. Reprint of the rare book is slated to be released on the occasion.

And, today, Former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam will inaugurate the 150th anniversary celebration of Sambalpur’s famous seat of learning – Chandrasekhar Behera Zilla School.

Sambalpur’s contributions to Oriya mana is immeasurable and immense. Its Indrabhuti and his sister Laxminkara were the founders of Jagannatha cult that has given Orissa its distinction as a land of culture and peace. And to modern Orissa, it is Bharat Chandra Nayak of Sambalpur who has given its new era of Women Education.

But this truth has been covered up under the debris of time.

In this posting, I will recall only Bharat Chandra.

I will call him the father of modern women education in Orissa, because, none other than him has suffered so much loss in convincing the conservative people of Orissa that emancipation is not unachievable if girls are given modern education.

When he admitted his daughters in schools where english was being taught, he was subjected to social boycott. He was born in Bolangir, but had decided to reside in Sambalpur in professional pursuit. So, Sambalpur had no congenital bond with him, and hence, no emotional attachment.
In such a condition, having a life under the conservatives who were not at all in favor of English education for the girl children, he had dared to give his daughters modern education.

It had attracted social wrath that was, for a common man, impossible to tolerate. Obnoxious posters were pasted against his daughters, and all sorts of character assassination was used as instruments to force him abandon his zeal for imparting English education to his daughters. He never faltered. Even he had to harden his heart to tolerate the cruelty of time.

Social oppression and non-cooperation by his close relations over the issue of modern education to his daughters had given him such a deadly blow that no man sans dedicated determination for a noble cause can ever withstand.

He has given a detailed description of what situations he has to face over the issue in his book MOR PUBRASMRUTI KATHA. Fortunately its reprint will be now on available. Anybody may go through the book and study the matter.

I have not seen him in my life. He had spent some days as a royal guest in my birthplace Tigiria and because he was Assistant Dewan of Dhenkanal where the cousin brother of my grand father was the Dewan, he was well received in Tigiria. From my father I came to know that he had authored a book where the famous festival of Fireworks of Tigiria – Champakadwadashi – had been described.

I had known one of his daughters who to my wife Sabita and me was Shyama Nani and had known her husband Mr. Panigrahi in whom I had seen a humanitarian Judge when he was heading the Labor Court at Bhubaneswar. But, when I failed to get the book from them, Prof Shova Roy told me that when she was the Principal of Saambalpur Women’s College, she had seen the book in the College Library. Eager to go through the book, I rushed to Sambalpur. My sisterly Prof. Laxmi Gop was the Principal of Sambalpur Women’s College. She allowed me to browse through the book in the college library and helped me to have the rare work xeroxed. And, that xerox copy gave me the opportunity to read the book deeply.

During reading the book, I can’t say why, but I must say, I was crying.

I was sure, there was none, and sure that, there can’t be any, amongst the entire population of Orissa who could have suffered so much for women education.

I remember, after finishing the book, I took a bath and attired in fresh cloths, like someone worships a deity, I put the xeroxed copy of the book on a cleaned chair in the room of the PWD IB where a suite was allotted to me for two days and offered flowers picked from the IB campus and prostrated before it, as if I was seeing Bharat Chandra Nayak dazzling in satisfaction over all his sufferings. And, from there, I had gone to the Pantha Nivas standing nearby, typed a letter using the type-writer of its office, and personally presented the same to the Collector, Sambalpur, wherein I had made a request that in honor of the great man who suffered so much for women education, the Sambalpur Women’s College should be named after him.

In a system where contributions to society and sacrifices for a cause are not counted, my endeavors could not click.

However, when the State Government is thinking of creating a Women’s University, and, suggestions are afloat to transform the Rama Devi Women’s College of Bhubaneswar to this status, I want to point out that, the proposed University be named after the greatest sufferer for women education: Bharat Chandra Nayak.

When the Bhubaneswar College is named after Rama Devi, it would not be desirable to change its name. The Sambalpur Women’s College is not named after anybody, when, in fact, women education owes its spread in Sambalpur to the sacrifices and sufferings of Late Bharat Chandra Nayak.

The people of Sambalpur on their own accord had established the Government taken over Sambalpur Women’s College in the year 1959 when R.D.Women’s College, Bhubaneswar was not even in the womb of time. The State Government created R.D.Women’s College in 1964.

Though Shailabala Women’s College, Cuttack is senior to both of these two institutes, the College at Sambalpur is not to discard any name. So, the proposal advanced by the State Government to establish a Women University should be named after Bharat Chandra Nayak and should be established in Sambalpur, as Bharat Chandra Nayak University for Women.

Assembly in a blue funk: Shame should be caused to the Members

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The possibility of normalcy in running of the Assembly session, generated when the House took up its business after non-functioning for almost a week since its commencement, got aborted just a minute after its day began today, to total frustration of the people of the State.

Had the Chief Minister – the de facto owner of the ruling BJD – not been trying to escape exposure of his dubious deals in debates of the Assembly, the treasury benches would not have been seen stymying its proceedings in blatant violation of its Rules and Procedures.

Whosoever is not watching the Assembly from its inner galleries, not watching whatever little the television channels are displaying, cannot know how the dignity of the House is being destroyed by its members. Posterity cannot know how the dreams and sacrifices of their forefathers are being shattered by the fellows that boast of people’s support to them.

Debates are reduced to writing, compiled and printed by the Assembly, which the posterity may peruse some day. But the nasty manners in which the members destroy the dignity of the House and force the Assembly into doldrums is not noted on records with the names of the misusers of their privileges who drag the rampart of democracy to such a blue funk.

We therefore suggest, the Governor should step in and issue orders for digital preservation of whatever is happening in the Hall, with unedited video records and also make legal arrangements for collection and preservation of all bites and videos the TV channels are recording inside and outside of the Hall for honest preservation thereof for the posterity and current education of the Members on how shameful is their action. Shame should be caused to them by making them see their conduct in specially convened conferences,  as seeing the same may make them conscious of the political filth they are creating and help them have introspections and self-corrections.

I urge upon patriotic intellectuals to study this proposal and use their moral pressure in its favor, if they like, in order to save whatever iota of democracy we still possess, despite plutocracy having engulfed our land.

Smt. Radharani Panda and Orissa Assembly: Points to Ponder

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Affidavits of Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies show that many of them are under-trial offenders. Orissa Assembly is, therefore, a place, whereinto under-trial offenders have also entered as elected representative.

Under-trial offenders are always not casual offenders. There are habitual offenders whom the law has allowed to dwell beyond jails under bails; and that has helped them file their nomination papers, contest the elections and occupy berths in the ramparts of democracy.

So, when august houses of people’s representatives have under-trial habitual offenders with allegations of severe felonies like rape on their heads, there are many women members in the Parliament and Assemblies.

The sexually offending slangs vomited by Pradeep Maharathy, agriculture minister of Orissa, upon a lady member of Opposition BJP, Smt. Radharani Panda in the august house itself, seeking justice against which she sat in Darana on the floor of the house for three days, is a pointer to sexual harassment in workplace inside the Legislature.

Her historic protest against the sexual offense is indicative of how vulnerable are our women members inside the Legislatures fortified by privileges and empowered to take cognizance of contempt against outsiders.

This calls for serious cogitation on the issue.

Ms. Panda has said that even though she ended her Dharana Sayagraha as Maharathy begged apology and as the floor was to be normal to take up debates on many serious issues like the chit fund scam, yet, as a woman, she is not free from the mental trauma, which Moharathy had subjected her to.

This leads us to the issue of women legislators where habitual male offenders, considered guiltless till found guilty, abound.

And, we find, a law specifically created to prevent sexual harassment in workplaces is not honored in Orissa Assembly in matter of its members.

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 is an “Act to provide protection against sexual harassment of women at workplace and for the prevention and redressal of complaints of sexual harassment and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”.

The 66 years long experience of inability in giving quick justice to sexually harassed women, the Republic of India had enacted this specific law on 22 April 2013.

“WHEREAS sexual harassment results in violation of fundamental rights of a woman to equality under Article 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India and her right to life and to live with dignity under Article 21 of the constitution and right to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business which includes a right to a safe environment free from sexual harassment;

AND WHEREAS the protection against sexual harassment and the right to work with dignity are universally recognized human rights by international conventions and instruments such as Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, which has been ratified on the 25th June 1993 by the Government of India;

AND WHEREAS it is expedient to make provisions for giving effect to the said Convention for protection of women against sexual harassment at workplace”, this specific Act was enacted.

It extends to whole of India (Sub-Sec,2 of Section 1). It applies to any woman, “of any age whether employed or not, who alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment” ( Clause (i) of Sub-Sec. (a) of Sec.2), whereas “sexual harassment” is defined amongst different categories as, “making sexually coloured remarks” and “any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature” (Sect. 2 (n): (iii) and (v) of the Act).

“Any establishment” which is “wholly or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly by the appropriate Government” is a workplace, under (o) (i) of Sec.2.

So, Orissa Assembly is a workplace where women members of the Assembly are entitled to protections provided under the Act bearing No.14 of 2013.

When it extends to whole of India, the Parliament and Assemblies including Orissa Assembly should immediately implement it in respect to their members in order to save the Radharani Pandas from the Pradeep Maharathies.

Forgery in Samaj: Former Editor Manorama Mohapatra Cannot Avoid Imprisonment

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Whoever commits forgery, with the intention to use the forged document for the purpose of cheating, “shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine”, mandates Section 468 of Indian Penal Code. In view of this, former member (administration) and Associate Editor of the Samaja Ms. Manorama Mohapatra is bound to be imprisoned with fine.

Her father, Radhanath Rath, who, as editor of the Samaja, had hoodwinked the entire nation to fetch the third highest civilian award – Padmabhusan, had tampered with Gopabandhu’s draft Will that he had taken dictation of, and subsequently had co-manufactured a forged avatar thereof to grab the Samaja. Now it is seen, Manorama has forged the signature of a Sub-Editor of the same paper to cheat him out of his salary dues. Victim of her forgery is Pitambar Mishra on whose debacle the details have been placed in the preceding posting.

UNSARANGI ON SAMAJ UNDER RR Mishra was exploited by Manorama’s father Radhanath Rath for around a decade since 1986. On grabbing the Samaja, Rath had become its de facto owner by transforming the same to a family domain in the guise of Servants of the People Society. If any first hand evidence is required, one may get it from notes of the newspaper’s legendary news-editor – also publisher for many years – the Gandhian in letter and spirit, late lamented Udaynath Sarangi published in his serial write-up, captioned Lauha Paradara Antarale (Behind the Iron Curtain). An excerpt from the first episode, boxed by its publisher ‘Sambad’ is inserted here for all Oriyas to peruse. Roughly translated into English, it reads, “Pt. Gopabandhu has gifted away his institute to the race (of Oriyas). It has acquired the present stature with the help and cooperation of the people of the land. Neither there is investment of a single pie in it from the property of any individual nor has any individual any share in it. Its stature is the result of collective endeavor. It is a national institute. Let the Samaja and the institute (its establishment and Satyabadi Press) be salvaged from the family grip (of Radhanath Rath) and restored as a national property, so that, that would be the most appropriate respect for and preservation of memories of Gopabandhu”.

After exploiting the Samaja as his private property since the death of his collaborator in the forgery of Gopabandhu’s Will under cover of the Servants of the People Society, Rath had most cunningly made his daughter Manorama a member thereof handing her over the reign of the paper. She was made the boss both in administrative and editorial sectors. She was member (Administration) and Associate Editor. The press was being managed and the paper was being edited under her control. She was representing the management in its real sense.

A living symbol of her father’s exploitation, Sub-Editor-cum-News Reporter Pitambar Mishra had raised a dispute before the Labor Laws Implementation Authorities seeking regularization of his services with due amount of wages to which he was entitled under the Wage Board Award for Working Journalists. Rath had recruited him as a News Reporter for Rs. 150/- only per month. After giving him an additional duty to work as a Sub-Editor too, he was paid Rs.250/- per month. No letter of appointment was given to him as per practice of Rath, though he was acting without rest from early morning to late in the night as a journalist in both the areas – as a Sub-Editor as well as a News Reporter. He was one of many such hands in the establishment of the Samaja in the regime of Rath, who was using maximum space of the paper to project himself as a kind and benevolent person! Towards the end of his life, members of SoPS dared to make their presence felt in management of funds of the paper and the iron curtain epitomized by Rath started to crack.

In that confusing situation, SoPS having started to disregard various steps of Rath, Pitambar apprehended that, unless he raises the necessary industrial dispute, his decade old service to the paper may get lost in the labyrinth of managerial chaos.

So, he moved the District Labor Officer to step in. The DLO issued a statutory notice to the management asking why it should not be enforced by Law to regularize the services of Pitambar Mishra.

The management got the notice on 6.9.1997 and the next day on 7.9.1997, the journalist was not allowed to enter into the Samaja premises. The GM orally informed him that his services were no further required.

The DLO entertained conversion of his dispute from a case for regularization of service to a case for reinstatement in service.

Dispute Referred to Labor Court

Consequently, the State Government in the Labor and Emplyment Department referred the matter to the Labor Court, Bhubaneswar for adjudication under Sub-Section (5) of Section 12 read with Clause (ci) of Sub-Section (1) of Section 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 vide order No. 15552/LE, dt. 31.12.1998. The term of reference was:

“Whether the termination of services of Sri Pitambar Mishra, Sub-Editor/News reporter by the management of “the Samaj” with effect from 7.9.97 is legal and or justified? If not, to what relief Sri Mishra is entitled?

The Court answered, “the termination of services of Sri Pitambar Mishra, Sub-Editor/News Reporter by the management of “The Samaj” with effect from 7.9.97 is neither legal nor justified”. He was entitled to the relief of reinstatement with back wages”, the Labor Court concluded.

The reference was bound to be answered like this, as the management clearly knew that they have acted absolutely illegal and unjustified in summarily terminating Sri Mishra’s services immediately after receiving the notice of his complaint and no Court would ever approve their action.

Heinous Design

The only way for them to escape was denial of employer-employee relationship with Mishra. For this purpose, they devised a fake agreement with a forged signature of Mishra depicting therein that the relationship between him and the Samaj “is that of Principal to Principal and not that of employer or employee”. And, challenged the maintainability of the reference on this ground.

The so-called agreement was shown to have been signed on the 8th day of June 1995 to stay alive for two years. It means, the said agreement was bound to expire on 7th day of June, 1997. If it was so, how was it that the workman was working, as admitted by the management, till 7th of September 1997? Management’s averments make it clear that, when he was orally informed on 7.9.1997 that his services were not required onwards, the General Manager had not known of the agreement. The said agreement was also not the management’s proof of non-existence of employer-employee relationship when the dispute was under conciliation. Interestingly, when the so-called agreement was dated 8.6.1995, letter No.52/GM/94 dated 28.4.1994 reveals that the workman had already executed that agreement ! How can an office order issued on 28.4.94 speak of a document created on 8.6.95 ? This impossibility became possible only because, none of these two documents is genuine. Both of them were manufactured to harass Journalist Pitambar Mishra. Both of them were backdated and in backdating them by different persons, the dates depicted in both of them had inadvertently been so different.

I am giving below photo copies of relevant portions of these two documents for a comparison.

52:GM:94manufactured agreement

The comparison makes it clear that there is a gap of 14 months between the office order and the agreement. If the the agreement was executed on 8.6.95, how could the office order be pregnant with the same agreement that is dated 28.4.94 ?

How could the order based on the agreement be issued 14 months before the signing of the agreement ?

Manufactured by Manorama

Obviously, none of them was in existence on the relevant days.

They were manufactured by Manorama Mohapatra after the case was registered as Industrial Dispute No.9 of 1999 and proceeded in the Labor Court to the disadvantage of the management. And under the impact of the consequential shenanigans, attempts were made to create the said two backdated documents by two authorities of the management, such as the order dated 28.4.94 by one R.C.Mishra and the agreement dated 8.6.95 by Manorama Mohapatra. Due to lack of coordination in the flow of mala fide intension to teach a lesson to the workman who dared to drag them to the labor Court, the dates of the documents manufactured at their respective cabins became so drastically different.

When the document created by R.C.Mishra on the letterhead of the Samaja on 28.4.94 was meant to deny the workman confirmation in the post of Sub-Editor, the agreement manufactured by Manorama Mohapatra on 8.6.95 was, besides being an instance of use of Indian Stamp Papers for illegal purpose, carried forged signature of the affected workman.

Gene of forgery

Manorama Mohapatra, daughter of Radhanath Rath, who, as shown earlier in these pages, had created a forged avatar of Gopabandhu’s Will to occupy the Samaj, had become a member of SoPS by way of  nepotism and had become Member in charge of administration as well as the de facto Editor of the Samaja under the designation of Associate Editor. She was formerly a class-I officer in College Branch of Orissa Education Service, a Chief Executive of Orissa’s Academy of Letters. Yet, just to cause a poor and low paid employee debarred from getting his due position and wages, she created, sans any qualms, as if she inherits the gene of forgery, the signature of Pitambar Mishra on the said manufactured agreement typed on Indian Stamp Paper.

Disputed signature found forged

From the picture posted above, it is clear that the first attempt having failed, the forgery was done on the second attempt.

But very apt is a verse of ancient Oriya wisdom that says, “Papa Karuthibu Andhara Ghare, Bihi Lekhuthiba Tala Patare” , meaning, even if a sin is perpetrated inside a dark room, God Almighty records it in tamperproof letters like the Oriya people write on palm leafs. Precisely it says, “sin cannot be kept hidden”.

And, science also agrees. Howsoever cleaver be the criminal, he or she leaves behind clues that expose the crime along with its perpetrator, say the criminologists.

The crime of Manorama Mohapatra that she committed by forging the signature of Journalist Pitambar Mishra has been exposed by science.

Let us look again at the above picture.

It is the end portion of the manufactured agreement with the forged signature of Pitambar Mishra. It shows, the first attempt to forge his signature having failed, that has been repeatedly struck-through and then, below that struck-through signature, the signature of Pitambar Mishra has been penned. We shall later see how this signature is forged. But, at the moment, we shall peruse the photo copy of the authentication part of the agreement in question.

Collective Crime

When Pitambar Mishra is shown to have signed for and on behalf of the News Representative constituting the second part of the agreement, Manorama Mohapatra has signed for and on behalf of the Samaj constituting the first part thereof.

Manorama’s then known blue-eyed-boy Brajakishore Das, sub-editor, Samaj, Cuttack has signed as witness No.2 and a designation-less ineligible signature is attributed to witness No.1.

Who took the dictation of the agreement, from whom, where and when; and who typed the agreement was a must to have been written on the body of the agreement typed as it is on Indian Stamp Paper. But this is conspicuous by its absence. So, it is clear that, it is Ms. Manorama Mohapatra who has prepared the agreement on the Stamp Paper and forged Pitambar Mishra’s signature thereon to derail the Industrial Dispute 9/1999 in the Labor Court in order to debar Sri Mishra from getting his position and wages. The two witnesses taken into the scanner, it is a collective crime.

Proof of Forgery

Now let us see, how the signature claimed by Manorama to be of Pitambar Mishra on the body of the manufactured agreement is a forged signature.

When the State Government referred Mishra’s dispute to Labor Court, Bhubaneswar for adjudication, the management of Samaj questioned the maintainability of the dispute by denying employer-employee relationship between them and Mishra. And, in support of their contention, they produced the agreement in question that at Para 8 in page 3 says, “The relationship between the news representative (Pitambar Mishra) and the Samaj is that of Principal to Principal and not that of an employer or employee”.

Pitambar was shocked. He vehemently protested against production of an agreement, which he never had made and signed.

The labor Court did a mistake.

Instead of asking the management to prove that Mishra’s signature was genuine, it  asked the poor, unpaid and jobless workman to prove that his signature was forged !

And, he was asked to deposit a heavy sum of money towards cost of handwriting examination, which was beyond the capability of Mishra to deposit.

So his case was dismissed and the reference was answered in favor of the management.

When the Orissa High Court went through the records, it quashed the order of the Labor Court, directing it to resume the case while not intervening with the Labor Court direction to the workman on cost of his signature examination in the State Handwriting Bureau. Mishra with much difficulty could be able to deposit the cost and the Labor Court sent his disputed signature along with 7 sets of specimen signatures of Pitambar Mishra obtained on seven sheets of paper by him in presence of and witnessed by the Advocate for the management. Mishra’s signature on his application to Chairman, Lok Sevak Mandal (management) dated 12.11.92 as well as his signature on his application to the same authority on 4.5.94, which were admitted by the management to be genuine signatures of Mishra received by them, were also sent as admitted signatures of the workman to the State Handwriting Bureau in Crime Investigation Department (CID), Crime Branch (CB) of Orissa Police, Rasulgarh, Bhubaneswar, vide letter No.1615/LC dt. 25.9.2010. The specimen signatures taken on 7 sheets were marked S-1, S-2, S-3, S-4, S-5, S-6 and S-7, where as the signature on his application dated 12.11.92 was marked S-8 and the one on his application dated 4.5.94 was marked S-9. The disputed signature on agreement dated 8.6.95 was marked X-1. The ‘Government Examiner of Questioned Documents’ in the HWB was asked to examine and tell “whether the person who wrote S-1 to S-9, also wrote the signature marked X-1”.

On careful and thorough examination of “the documents in original from all angles of handwriting identification with the help of scientific aids under suitable condition”, the Examiner reported that, “Both the sets of signatures (Specimen and admitted signatures marked S-1 to S-9 and the disputed signature Marked X-1) differ in their general writing habit such as skill, speed, movement, line quality, size and proportion of letters etc” and declared that “The disputed signature marked X-1 contain hesitation, pen stop at unnatural places, slow drawn movement, poor line quality etc, which are the symptoms of forgery found present in the disputed signature”. Here below is the photo copy of the conclusive observation of the Examiner of Questioned Documents.

CONCLUSIVE PART

Opinion of the Handwriting Bureau Authority that establishes that Pitambar Mishra’s signature was forged on the body of the agreement dated 8.6.1995, which was manufactured by Ms. Manorama Mohapatra for and on behalf of the management, is also given below:

opinion of handwriting bureau

Raising fictitious grounds to delay the proceedings in the Labor Court, the management had filed a petition there, praying for sending another signature for examination. That was rightly rejected, in view of the fact that the disputed signature was proved as forged signature on scientific examination by the State Handwriting Bureau and the examiner, as C.W.1, had already been cross examined by the management wherein nothing was made out to show any defect in the examination of the signature and the report of HWB.

The management had then wanted to recall the Handwriting expert for fresh cross examination. But the management withdrew the same petition pleading pendency of a case it had preferred in the High Court on the same subject. The said case of the management failed in the the High Court, with the Judge concluding that, in rejecting the petition of the Samaj for sending the signature again to the Handwriting Expert the labor Court had neither committed any irregularity nor illegality.

Thus, it is established that, the Samaj management has forged the signature of Pitambar Mishra on the body of a manufactured agreement in order to deny him his legitimate position and wages by derailing the judicial process.

Criminal Negligence by Police

Sri Mishra filed FIR in the Cantonment Police Station on 20.7.2011 seeking action against the forgery. As he was not furnished with a copy thereof, he resubmitted the FIR to Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cuttack, by Speed post on 25.7.2011. Tracking records shows that the same was delivered to the DCP on 26.7.2011.

But the Police is yet to come out of its cocoon of criminal negligence. If not, law shall force it to act.

Finally, Jail

Then what would happen to Manorama Mahapatra? Unless Pitambar Mishra, her victim, shows her mercy, she cannot avoid imprisonment in view of the provision of IPC quoted at the beginning. So also the two fellows who have authenticated the forged signature as genuine by signing as witnesses. And, another fellow, under whose instigation the forgery is understood to have been committed and who had, as the lone management witness, deposed under oath that the questioned signature was the genuine signature of Pitambar Mishra, will also be prosecuted and jailed, because the signature he had shown as genuine signature of Pitambar Mishra, has been proved to be forged on the basis of scientific examination in the Handwriting Bureau. That fellow is Chaudhury Sangram Keshari Mishra, whom the Samaj management  has, for his litigant mischief and anti-labor habit, rewarded with unending pay packages from the funds that the workmen so laboriously generate for the newspaper. Under wrong and mischivious advice of such fellows, the iconic newspaper of Orissa, co-founded by the immortal humanitarian leader Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das, has become a scheming exploiter of workers and has generated scores of Industrial disputes, where it has never won, but always failed.

Daily Samaj in hands of Devils: Sub-Editor’s Signature Forged to Derail Labor Adjudication; High Court Used to Keep Him Starved

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

I am shocked to see that the Orissa High Court is used by illegal occupiers of the daily Samaj to keep a working journalist starved, even though the competent Labor Court had awarded him the relief of reinstatement with full back wages and the High Court had also ruled that the award was proper and justified.

The matter may be viewed as a classic instance of abortion of rule of law in the citadel of law, when lawyers fail to apprise the Court of the real position of law on one part, and on the other, pursue a design to hoodwink the court with misleading legal jargons and junks.

It would be helpful to have the minimum introduction on the case of the concerned journalist – Sub-Editor-cum-Reporter of the Samaj – Pitamber Mishra, now above 72 years.

Here below is a chronology-
1. He was subjected to constant unfair labor practice since 1986;
2. He was summarily dismissed as he wanted legitimate wages in 1997;
3. Two backdated documents were manufactured, one an agreement with his forged signature to derail his dispute in the Labor Court when the State Government sent his case for adjudication in 1998;
4. He challenged the manufactured agreement and was made to cough up a heavy sum of money for examination of his signature on the same;
5. The ‘Examiner of Questioned Documents’ in the Handwriting Bureau, Crime Branch, Orissa was asked by the Labor Court to examine the disputed signature vide letter No. 1615/LC stated 25.9.2010;
6. The Examiner opined that the disputed signature was not the signature of Pitambar Mishra;
7. Thus the forgery committed by the management established, the Labor Court declared the dismissal illegal and unjustified and warded the relief of reinstatement in service with full back wages with effect from the date of dismissal; but compounded his dues in terms of money in lieu of reinstatement with full back wages as he had crossed the superannuating age during pendency of the case on 21,2,2013;
8. The management challenged the award in the Orissa High Court in a Writ Petition, which was rejected on hearing on 30.4.2014 with the conclusion that the Labor Court award was proper and justified;
9. Instead of implementing the Labor Court award as improved by the High Court, the management has used the High Court to keep the journalist in starvation taking advantage of Law that provides for a Writ Appeal and the suffering journalist’s inability to wake up the judicial conscience.

The poor man is now 72+ and is under slow starvation as the High Court has allowed the management the luxury of misusing the forums of law to torture the workman.

Heritage of Crime

Orissa’s iconic newspaper -The Samaja – co-founded by Utkalmani Pt. Gopabandhu Das, is being published under illegitimate ownership, as proved in these pages.

Radhanath Rath – a low paid servant of Gopabandhu, who could bag a Padmabhusan over and above legislative and ministerial berths as well as Lingaraj Mishra, a, “easygoing” protege of Gopabandhu, who could also occupy ministerial positions due to the media power of the Samaja, had tampered with and finally forged a will of Gopabandhu to hijack the newspaper, which has already been shown in these pages with relevant documents.

But the conduct of crime seen in these two fellows did not end in their death in the context of the newspaper. It seems, they have handed over a heritage of crime to their successors in the Samaja.

In these pages I have shown how the funds of the paper are being looted through forged documents. Now I will show, how Radhanath Rath’s daughter Ms. Manorama Mahapatra, a retired higher education teacher, who succeeded her father as Associate Editor – cum – Member (administration) of the establishment, forged the signature of the above mentioned sub-editor-cum-news reporter to deny him his legitimate position and salaries.

Calculated Exploitation

The Samaja was in need of a sub-editor and the management recruited Pitambar Mishra for the post in 1986.

But, he was neither given written order of appointment nor due salary.

Accounts section of the Samaja paid him only Rs.250/- at the end of the month and advised him to stay content with this amount till regularization of his appointment or enhancement of the amount of ad hoc pay, whichever would be earlier.

Formal appointment letter would be issued to him when he earns a regular status, he was told.

He was made to understand that Radhanath Rath was the SARBESARBA (all-in-one) in the Samaja system and he must not dare to irritate him with any demand for appointment letter and salary in time scale.

When Rath will be satisfied with his work, everything would be normal and there shall be regular appointment with salary as per Wage Board, he was told.

The Samaja being the highest circulated daily of the State and, as Rath, equipped with media power, was making the government dance to his tune, Pitamber could not dare to do anything but acquiescing into the situation with a hope for regularization of his employment, as to him, such a ‘big personality’ like Rath could not be an exploiter.

But, Rath was an exploiter in real sense. He asked him to report Cuttack City along with his desk job without any hike in the ad hoc pay even, in a way of calculated exploitation.

Footprints of Exploitation

After rendering service for five years in both the field and desk sectors, Pitambar submitted a representation to management in 1989 for confirmation either in the post of Sub-Editor or in the post of Reporter with regular salary. The management ignored his representation for around two years and simply increased the amount of his ad hoc pay to Rs.600/- per month in 1991. He insisted that he should be regularized in service with salary as per Wage Board.

His representation was finally placed before the executive body of Servants of the People Society, which has illegally occupied the paper, on 22.3.1994. The minutes of that meeting records, “The Executive Secretary gave applications of Upendra, retired from Advertisement Section, P.C.Sarkar, Correspondent and Pitamber Mishra, Sub-Editor for comments”. It made it clear that Mishra was mainly the Sub-Editor. But, instead of confirming him, the management only enhanced his ad hoc salary to Rs.780/- in 1994. His representation for confirmation continued to be ignored.

Dispute before Labor Authorites

Severely injured both professionally and financially, as the management was not paying any heed to his grievances, Pitamber moved the labor law implementation machinery for intervention. The District Labor Officer, Cuttack, issued notice to the management on 25.8.1997 asking for their views on Sri Mishra’s demand for regularization of employment with retrospective effect along with all consequential benefits.

Illegal Termination

Mishra’s dispute before the labor authorities enraged the management to such ferocity that they terminated his service immediately on receiving the labor officer’s notice. In the history of the Samaja under illegal occupiers, no employee has ever been tolerated after raising a dispute before the labor authorities against harassment. So, Mishra was prevented from entering into the campus of the Samaja on 7,9,1997 with the gate keeper informing him that his services had been terminated. As he wanted the termination order, the general manager came to the gate and told him that his services were no more required. Pitambar’s request for the written order, if any, to that effect, was also turned down orally by the GM.

The affected workman moved the DLO for intervention and then,legally, his pending dispute for confirmation in service metamorphosed to an Industrial Dispute over illegal termination.

Reference to Labor Court

The Samaja management remained recalcitrant and the case landed in the Labor Court vide Order No.15552/LE dated 31.12.1998 of the State Government with the following term of reference:

“Whether the termination of services of Sri Pitambar Mishra Sub-Editor/News Reporter by the management of “The Samaj” with effect from 7.9.97 is legal and/or justified? If not, to what relief Sri Mishra is entitled?”

Manufactured agreement
with forged Signature

When the Labor Court registered the Industrial Dispute and initiated adjudication, the management of Samaja challenged the maintainability thereof by producing an agreement to show that there was no employer-employee relationship between it and Sri Mishra. The harassed journalist, to his horror found that not only the agreement was manufactured to suit the nefarious motive of the management, but also the signature purported to be his on the body of the manufactured agreement was also manufactured. He vehemently objected to depiction of a forged signature as his on the forged agreement. The management claimed that signature of the workman was genuine.

Instead of asking the management to establish genuineness of the signature disowned by the workman, the Labor Court asked the abysmally low-paid workman to deposit a very heavy amount of money as cost of handwriting examination, which was bend the capacity of the workman to arrange. As he failed to attend the Court with the money he was asked to deposit, the said court answered the reference in favor of the management, in the line the management had wanted.

The blatantly disadvantaged journalist moved the High Court of Orissa seeking quashing of the rash order of the Labor court. The High Court quashed the order and directed the Labor Court Presiding Officer to recall his order and to send the disputed signature of Mishra along with his specimen signatures to the State Handwriting Bureau for opinion of the handwriting examiner on genuineness or not of the signature on the questioned agreement.

Accordingly the award was recalled by the Labor Court. The poor workman coughed up the heavy amount of cost of signature examination. The Judge of the Labor Court collected his specimen signatures in presence of the lawyer of the management and sent the same with the disputed signature to the Examiner of Disputed Documents, CID,CB,HWB, Orissa, for examination. The handwriting expert found that the signature on the agreement paper was at all of Pitamber Mishra. His report was submitted by the S.P., CID, CB, HWB under cover of letter No. DP 26-19/530/HWB dt. 25.6.2011.

As the signature of Sri Mishra on the agreement filed by management was found to be forged, the agreement was rejected by the Labor Court and employer-employee relationship was established and termination of his services was determined to be illegal and unjustified in the award of the Labor Court.

Award of the Labor Court

The Labor Court, in its award dated 21.3.2013, answered the questions raised under the reference in the the following term: “That the termination of services of Sri Pitambar Mishra, Sub-Editor/News Reporter by the management “The Samaj” with effect from 7.9.97 is neither legal or justified”.

“Regarding the relief is concerned”, the Labor Court said, “the workman has examined himself as W.W.1 on 4.6.2001 and in his evidence, he has deposed that his age is 58 years. So considering the above version and admission of the workman, he is now about 70 years old. Therefore, it is not wise to direct the management for reinstatement of the workman in service. But at the same time, the workman had rendered service under the management for about 11 years and in the meantime, the case is lingering from the year 1999, i.e. for about 14 years. So considering the age, status and his tenure in duties, I am of the considered view that instead of giving direction for reinstatement in service with back wages, a lump sum amount of Rs.2,50,ooo/- as compensation will meet the end of justice in the facts and circumstances of this case”.

Thus saying, the Labor Court ordered that “The workman is entitled to get a lump sum amount of Rs.2,50,000/- only as compensation in lieu of reinstatement in service with back wages. The management is directed to implement this Award within a period of two months from the date of its publication, failing, the amount shall carry interest at the rate of 10% (ten per cent) per annum till its realization”.

Thus this is a clear, unambiguous and emphatic Award of reinstatement in service with full back wages.

High Court did not see Sec 17B of I.D.Act

The illegal occupiers of the Samaja preferred a Writ Petition in the Orissa High Court against this Award, which was registered as W.P.(C) N0.14183 of 2013.

The Writ Petition should have been rejected, had the High Court looked at Section 17 B of the Industrial Disputes Act.

I quote Sec.17 B, captioned as, “Payment of full wages to workman pending proceedings in higher Courts” where it is written,

“Where in any case, a Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal by its award directs reinstatement of any workman and the employer prefers any proceedings against such award in a High Court or the Supreme Court, the employer shall be to pay such workman , during the period of pendency of such proceedings in the High Court or the Supreme Court , full wages last drawn by him , inclusive of any maintenance allowance admissible to him under any rule, if the workman had not been employed in any establishment during such period and an affidavit by such workman had been filed to that effect in such Court”.

When the Writ Petition was filed against the Award of the Labor Court and the Labor Court had given the Award of reinstatement with full back wages, commuting the same to Rs.2,50,000/- in lieu thereof in view of the journalist having crossed the superannuation age in course of the case pending before it for long 14 years, it should have been proper for the High Court to refuse to entertain the management’s case in absence of proof of payment of the entire amount awarded by the Labor Court, specifically as it was clear that the 70+ old man was neither fit for work nor permissible to work anywhere. Yet, the Court reduced the commuted amount of the workman’s back wages by Rs.30,000/- to Rs.2,20,000/-, though the Judge was clear in saying, “On consideration of the materials on record, I am of the view that there is no infirmity in the findings of the the Presiding Officer, Labor Court that the termination of the workman was neither legal nor justified”.

The High Court should not have reduced the awarded amount in view of the fact that the said amount was determined in lieu of full back wages of the workman with effect from his de jure reinstatement in service on 7.9.1997. The labor Court had clearly held that termination of service of Sri Mishra was neither legal nor justified. Hence reinstatement with full back wages was awarded.

Though the workman was de jure reinstated in service with effect from 7.9.1997,  he was not to join his postde facto on reinstatement, because, by that date, his serving age had been lost during pendency of the industrial dispute. The Labor Court, in that special circumstances had commuted the back wages he was entitled to on de jure reinstatement. This was a minimum amount of wages. If the High Court was to entertain the management’s writ application, it should have asked the management to pay the workman his dues as determined by the Labor Court before hearing the same. Instead, it heard the case and reduced the awarded amount to drastic disadvantage of the workman.

Habitual Litigant

The management is a habitual litigant determined to harass the workman. When the Labor Court was hearing the case, and it was established through examination by the Handwriting Bureau that the management had forged the signature of the workman on a disputed agreement, tallying the disputed signature of the workman with his many specimen signatures collected by the judge of the labor Court in the presence of and witnessed by the management’s legal representative, the management had filed a petition on 9.11.2011 to send another signature of the workman again to the Handwriting Bureau. The labor Court had rejected that petition on 20.12.2011. Against this order, the management rushed a writ petition in the High Court, even as it made a fresh plea before the Labor Court on 18.1.2012 to recall the C.W.1 (the signature examiner) for a fresh cross examination. As its writ application got admitted in the High Court, vide  W.P. (C) No.4540 of 2012, the management withdrew its petition in the Labor Court on 7.3.2012.

The High Court found that the disputed signature has been proved as a forged signature through examination by the handwriting expert on being referred to by the Labor Court. The Examiner has tallied the same with admitted old signatures as well as with specimen signatures collected by the judge of the Labor Court in presence of and witnessed by the legal representative of the management. The Examiner has also deposed and been cross examined in the court as C.W.1 and the details of the examination with 13 sheets of documents, 17 sheets of photo enlargement, Negative containing 17 exposures and two sheets of statement of reason along with the scientific opinion have been filed in the Labor Court and examined by the management, and it had not found any defect therein. Against this backdrop, the High Court had rejected on 12.3.2013 the W.P. (C) No.4540 of 2012 instituted by the management with the observation that,  “The Court does not find any irregularity or illegality in the impugned order passed by the Labor court”.

Fresh Attempt to Kill the Spirit of the I.D.Act

Despite the verdicts of the High Court, the recalcitrant management of the newspaper has not yet paid the dues of the Sub-Editor. It has challenged the verdict in a Writ Appeal, on the ground that signature of the workman on the body of his ‘Statement of Claim’ was not sent to the handwriting expert along with his admitted signatures.

So, the Writ Appeal – WA No.201 of 2014 – filed by the management against the above High Court order is nothing but a nasty attempt to keep the tortured journalist denied of his dues.

Sri Mishra is more than 72 years.

His legitimate dues should not be denied to him in guise of the Writ Appeal.

Had the Court paid attention to Sec.17 B of the I.D.Act, the above said writ case could not have been entertained without payment of the full wages (in this peculiar situation the entire amount awarded by the Labor Court) by the management to him and the present Writ Appeal should also have been rejected because of non- payment of the awarded amount to Mishra under the same section.

The spirit of Sec.17 B of the I.D.Act must not be killed in the High Court under evil design of a management that had no qualms in forging the signature of the workman to deny him his dues.

In my next posting on the Samaja devilry, I will discuss its forgery with relevant documents.

Orissa Assembly Embarrassed by Minister’s Monkey Business

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

On commencement of the winter session today, Orissa Assembly was resigned to ruckus over severe protests of the Opposition members against being cold-shouldered by the speaker in their demand for discussion on chit fund scandal that has affected reportedly no less than a crore of depositors.

After obituary mentions, the only business, which could be transacted in the benumbed day of repeated adjournments that failed to function even for half an hour, was just a presentation of the supplementary budget worth Rs.4502.34 crores for the current fiscal.

But, before that, the the day had to bring in embarrassment for the Assembly, as a minister’s monkey business made a female member cry for protection of her dignity in the floor of the house. The victim is the lone female member of BJP, Ms.Radharani Panda. She alleges that agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy hurled vulgar words at her, when she was raising slogans against the government over the chit fund felony.

On her allegation, the Speaker has held an all-party meeting and his ruling is set to come tomorrow.

But the BJP suspects that the minister has deliberately committed the mischief for diverting the attention of the house from the chit fund scam to issue of dignity of female member.

A Surly Editorial and the Unseen Side of Money to Media

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A surly editorial in minister Damodar Raut’s daily newspaper ‘Sanchar’ makes us infer that the money offered to journalists at Puri by Member of Parliament Pinaki Mishra, when he was addressing the Press as President of the Parliamentary Committee on Urban Development, was deliberate and as per plan of BJD, eager to escape further exposure in chit fund and other scams.

Thrashed by severe protests over the mischief, and possibility of police action upon FIR lodged in the area PS, Mishra has termed it as “gift” and has rejected the allegation that it was an attempt to bribe the Press. “Gift to journalist” is not defined as an offense under the IPC, he has said. This shows, he has made a lot of mental exercise to escape prosecution after being caught with the corpus delicti for attempt to bribe the scribes.

Attention of the Press Council of India has been attracted to the condemnable conduct of the MP. If it entertains the allegation, bribe or gift whatever be it, would get weighed on the matrix of Press Freedom. And, I am sure, Mishra would be censored by the PCI, where the Indian Parliament has also its representation. Pinaki is conscious of what is to happen.

Therefore, he is in fidgets. The idea of describing the bribe he offered to media persons as “gift to journalists” could not have come to his mind had he not been in fidgets.

Two Mistakes

The MP has done two mistakes by linking UCO Bank to the money distribution.

Firstly, he has asserted that by handing over the money-carrying kits to journalists, the UCO Bank has done no wrong; because, Parliamentary practices provide for such services.

This is a very wrongful assertion.The reigning guidelines on tour of Parliamentary Committees do not support this claim. Therefore, BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra has termed it as an offense against dignity of the Parliament and has demanded that the Speaker of Lok Sabha, where Mishra is a member, should divest him immediately of his chair of the Parliamentary Committee that visited Puri.

And, if Bijay is not ignored by his party bosses, the point he has raised would sure hit the Parliament and if UCO Bank has really been used by the Parliamentary Committee on visit to Orissa by the chairman thereof, the Speaker would sure give him a stricture, if not dismissal.

Secondly, by exposing the UCO Bank link, he has generated a justified suspicion that he and/or his colleagues in the BJD Syndicate are holding black money in secret accounts in that Bank, so that such secret money could flow in without his signature into the money-carrying kits offered to journalists by the said Bank.

The black money angle
should be investigated into

It is imperative that the central government should investigate into the black money angle and keep the records before the public, so that the discomforting suspicion would come to an convincing end.

Therefore, the ethicality in using UCO Bank in an attempt to influence the Press and the possibility of black money stashed by BJD in the UCO Bank are issues to be looked into by the Parliament and Central Government respectively.

Mens rea

But for us the point for cogitation is: why at all Pinaki Mishra, MP of the party of Orissa’s Chief Minister, preferred a paltry sum of Rs.200/- to be offered to each of the journalists that attended his Press Conference at Puri on records? What was the mens rea?

The query pushes us towards a greater conspiracy to destroy dignity of media when, because of media activism, the BJD supremo’s credibility is suffering sharp erosion. The journalists are exposing the discernible details of the scams and of the investigations or lack of investigations thereinto, to the utmost chagrin of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. No other chief minister had attracted so much suspicious eyes over so many scams and loot of natural resources and tyrannic oppression on indigenous people for benefit of non-Oriya and foreign industries. In no other regime, resounding steps of compradors were so menacingly overwhelming the State administration. Slowly but steadily the curtain is being raised by the Press and the nasty inner color of the ‘MahakalaPhala’ (Trichosanthes Palmata) coming out. Naveen is to be protected from being exposed as a Trichosanthes Palmata, if BJD is to stay in power.

So the motive hidden behind Pinaki’s attempt to grease the journalists’ palm with accompanying tricks to bring that to public, was to create a situation for depletion of credibility of scribes whose alert eyes are now focused on Naveen.

Tricks can’t save

Naveen is sure, all the tricks he has contrived to mislead the people by christening all welfare projects of the State by his father’s name would fail; and he would be kicked out of office by the people, if the current trend of exposure by the Press continues.

Therefore, when several BJD members of Assembly and Parliament are in jail under judicial custody consequent upon exposure of scams, and possibility of exposure of his own involvement as the real operator of various scams through frontmen is gaining vigor, and media is digging out how he has acted a comprador of mine-grabbers like Jindal, and people have started suspecting him over the scams as a result of Press activism; the attractive Trichosanthes Palmata red-ball is at the verge of getting ripped off, attempts were made through Pinaki to show the people that the Press Reporters cannot be relied upon, because they are susceptible to external influence guided by bribes or gifts, howsoever small be the volume and the value.

Surly Editorial in Sanchar

The design to denigrate the Press, so that the people won’t be inclined to believe in what the journalists report, is spelt out in editorial of Sanchar, the paper of BJD heavyweight Damodar Raut, dated November 14, 2014, where attempts have been made to make out why the journalists are gainable by bribes or gifts and not reliable.

Sanchar has a marked nuisance value. When it was a periodical, Raut had got back his ministership by blackmailing Naveen Patnaik in a banner therein that read – “Belgium Glass ru Parada Khasuchhi” (Mercury is falling from the Belgium Glass). And, as Raut is now functioning as a minister, the daily avatar of the same Sanchar has, in the editorial cited supra, has aspersed the journalists, because of whose watchful eyes, it is difficult for Naveen to escape.

The evil and opportunistic design of Sanchar is bare, when, while shedding meretricious tears on plight of the journalists in the regime of Naveen Patnaik, the crabby editorial says that, most of the newspapers are not paying the journalists their due salary and therefore, they have no other way than depending on payola for giving publicity to whosoever wants. Knows as he of this, Pinaki had arranged cash gifts for them in both his press conferences at Puri and Bhubaneswar. The Puri scribes protested; but media persons of Bhubaneswar took the money with pleasure, the editorial has said. The entire editorial, captioned “Sambadikanka Swabhiman” is a shrewd attempt to destroy the public image of the scribes, so that whatever they report on economic offenses sic passim the State administration shall not be taken seriously. Thus, the Sanchar of minister Damodar Raut has tried to provide necessary support to the mischief of the ruling party executed through Pinaki Mishra.

Obviously the putrefactive viruses have taken up new masks, such as this editorial and terming the bribe offered to journalists as “gift”.

Acrobatics won’t work

But such wordy acrobatics will not work.

People know, if press persons had ever been guided by avarice, the felonious activities of political leaders and top brasses of administration that are exposed and on exposure of which governments have gone out of power time and again, and judicial inquiries have brought out hidden offenses of the rogues that rule, and leaders have been incarcerated, and plutocratic governments have been forced to allocate funds for welfare of the wretchedly poor, could never have been possible in India.

And the offenders know, the power they are misusing can never last for ever.

Money to media has failed at Puri, and will fail everywhere despite Sanchars and Arnab Goswamies.

As conscience cannot be wiped out, so also Press cannot be suppressed through money and innuendoes.