Legality of Suspension of Satish Gajbhiye is Questionable; but State Succumbing to Lawyers’ Pressure is Deplorable

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Kendrapada’s former S.P. Satish Gajbhiye has been suspended. Any Government officer can be suspended if the authorities feel that keeping him/her temporarily out of office is necessary in sphere of governance.

Suspension is no punishment, but can be made so, only on final findings to be arrived at through investigations into allegations that form the basis of suspension. And, often the allegations are cooked up, concocted, misconceived, misconstrued, malicious and motivated. In many cases, suspension orders and corresponding disciplinary proceedings are viewed as framed up mischief in the eyes of law.

So, suspension is always questionable.

Satish Gajbhiye’s suspension is therefore questionable.

But, what is deplorable is that, the State Government has succumbed to the pressure of lawyers who had threatened to use collective physical force to derail the scheduled observance of the official flag hoisting on Independence day.

The lawyers have emerged habitual tormentors of justice-seekers as would be seen from their frequent strikes that render the fixed business of the courts inconsequential.

The State has no control over this, as the lawyers are not employees of the State. The courts have no control over this, as the judges do not dare to deny these officers of law the freedom to derail administration of law. The clients do not dare to force their paid brief-holders to refrain from strikes, lest their cases go astray. Every death of a lawyer precipitates impromptu closure of the court as lawyers cease functioning with immediate effect, oblivious of what damage that does to the litigants financially and physically.

Instead of formulating a process to ensure that the lawyers stay addressed only to cases in their hands, the State Government has contributed to their assault capability by succumbing to their demand for action against Gajbhiye.

The allegation that a lawyer was assaulted in Kendrapada, which had turned into a battle ground against Sarathi Raula, is not tenable. The man was never subjected to police action while acting as a lawyer.

If somebody is a lawyer, it is not that he is not a human being. And, a human being indulges in many activities. Some of the activities are vitiated with malice, avarice and politics.

As such, some of the activities of the lawyers, in their role as human beings, are also vitiated with malice, avarice and politics. If such activities are improper, then some activities of the lawyers outside their respective chambers or the concerned courts may also be improper.

Any police action against any such improper activity of any lawyer must not be encouraged to be supported by the community of lawyers to the extent of threatening the flag hoisting on Independence Day, if a particular officer is not suspended. Lawyers being the officers of law have, in this case, clearly gone against the spirit of law that prohibits assumption of guilt before hearing the person hurled at with allegations. Therefore, the Government should have banned the lawyers’ threatening action.

Sad, the Government has obliged the lawyers by putting Gajbhiye under suspended animation.

This is deplorable.