Forgery in the Samaja: Trade Union’s FIR registered Against SoPS Members and IAS (Rtd) Suresh Chandra Mantry

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The forgery committed on Gopabandhu’s Will having been exposed, President of Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association Sri Deviprasanna Nayak had put the information before the IIC of Cantonment Police Station, Cuttack on May 12, 2015 demanding criminal action against the members of the Servants of the People Society as well as a retired IAS officer Suresh Chandra Mantry and a former Editor of the paper Sri Gopalkrushna Mohapatra, for use of the forged Will despite knowing that the same is forged. After inordinate delay of around three weeks, the IIC has registered the FIR on May 31, 2015, under sections 420/465/467/468/471/34 IPC, which are the major penal provisions against the crime of forgery. The punishments under these sections are very stiff.

Section 420 stipulates that “whoever cheats and thereby dishonestly induces the person deceived any property to any person, or to make, alter or destroy the whole or any part of a valuable security, or anything which is signed or sealed, and which is capable of being converted into a valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 465 mandates, “Whoever commits forgery shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 468 provides for life imprisonment or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and fine. Under this section whosoever is not give life imprisonment, shall be punished with imprisonment up to ten years with fine. Its language is: “Whoever forges a document which purports to be a valuable security or a will, or an authority to adopt a son, or which purports to give authority to any person to make or transfer any valuable security, or to receive the principal, interest or dividends thereon, or to receive or deliver any money, moveable property, or valuable security, or any document purporting to be an acquittance or receipt acknowledging the payment of money, or an acquittance or receipt for the delivery of any moveable property or valuable security, shall be punished with *[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine”. * Subs. by Act 26 of 1955, s. 117 and Sch., for “transportation for life” (w.e.f. 1-1-1956).

Section 468 provides that “Whoever commits forgery, intending that the *[document or Electronic Record forged] shall be used 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”. * Subs. by Act 21 of 2000, sec. 91 and Sch. I, for “document forged” (w.e.f. 17-10-2000)

But Section 471 is for users of forged Will. The fellow who uses a forged Will shall be punished with imprisonment and fine. It says, “Whoever fraudulently or dishonestly uses as genuine any *[document or electronic record] which he knows or has reason to believe to be a forged **[document or electronic record], shall be punished in the same manner as if he had forged such **[document or electronic record]. * Subs. by Act 21 of 2000, sec. 91 and Sch. I, for “document” (w.e.f. 17-10-2000). ** Subs. by Act 21 of 2000, sec. 91 and Sch. I, for “document forged” (w.e.f. 17-10-12000)

And, Section 34 provides punishment to gang of criminals. It says, *”When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone”. *Subs. by Act 27 of 1870, sec. 1, for the original section.

So, the criminals in the forte of the Samaja and SoPS are now to face the law that calls for imprisonment and fine.

The two fellows who had forged the Will of Gopabandhu – former ministers of Orissa and editors of the paper, Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra –  have died before their crime was detected. Another criminal Manu Bhai Patel has died recently. Another accused – Santosh Kumar Muduli is also dead. Udaynath Sadangi whose name is in the written information is also dead. The trade union shall demand for posthumous punishment to them as they were individually and collectively perpetrators and users of the forgery.

Some other fellows who have been named in the FIR, but not shown as accused, will hopefully come to books by the time the charge sheet would be ready.

The accused enlisted by the investigating officer, pending final updatation of the list, are: (1) Manubhai Patel, (2) Raj Kumar, (3) Deepak Malviya, (4) Vimsen Yadav, (5) Prasanna Vadan Mehta, (6) Onkar Chand, (7) Niranjan Rath, (8) Kirtibhai Pandya, (9) Ajay Kumar, (10) Gopalkrushna Mohapatra, (11)Suresh Chandra mantry, (12) Santosh Kumar Muduli and (13) Lingaraj Mishra. The first and the two last accused persons are, as mentioned supra, dead.

(Note: The 12th accused is not an accused in reality. He is one of the victims of the offenders. The IIC has inadvertently mentioned his name and prefixed it with a nonextistence mark, in place of, according to him, late Radhanath Rath.)

The living culprits have a gang of hounds from the pull of retired IAS officers, IPS officers, and Judges in their service as advisors, who are lobbying for killing of this FIR. They have also a powerful ally in Chief Minister’s Office, who, despite being a junior officer is being regarded as ‘Super Chief Minister’ from whom Cabinet Ministers and Secretaries including the Chief Secretary are getting instructions as if from the Chief Minister. His protection to Samaja hijackers is a great obstacle in action against located culprits that stay safe in the ramparts of the Gopabandhu Bhawan. The inordinate delay in registration of the well documented FIR is because of their pressure.

Book CoverWe in orissamatters.com have regularly investigated into and detailed the crime and our book “The Samaja in Maze of Forgery”, very ably compiled by Sri Deviprasanna Nayak is a highly well documented book of rare meticulousness that has become an instant seller. The first edition is at the verge of necessitating a second edition, according to its publisher Sri Pabitra Mohan Maharatha. The reports of orissamatters.com are being posted by the ‘Save the Samaja Forum’ in savethesamaja.com and the ‘save the samaja’ page in social media: Face book. It is noteworthy that the page is getting ever increasing ‘like’s everyday, which indicates that the people all over Orissa have been keeping alert eyes on this matter and appreciating the exposure.

So, despite lobby by the pack of hounds – former IAS, IPS, IFS Officers and Judges – the case cannot die sans action.

With this case, a new chapter in the history of mass action against crime by fellows, who have been dazzling under the arch of journalism misusing the media power of the Samaja, is going to be written in golden letters.

Orissa, keep watch.

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Impelled by Inner Soul, Standing Counsel Resigns

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

New Schools have been promised. New schemes have been announced education of children engaged in drudgery. Wordy acrobatics are in full display to convince people that Naveen Patnaik’s regime is committed to make every Oriya child educated.

I am not going to repeat how schools have been made the hubs of forged certificates. I am not going to repeat how  the Directorate of School and Mass Education has corrupted school education and has become a sanctuary of officers who act in nexus with and protect the school teachers that forge High School certificates and how recommendations of the Board of Secondary Education for lodging criminal cases against forgers of School Certificates caught with corpus delicti in course of investigation are ignored by the authorities.

I am not going to tell how massive numbers of schools have no roof, no sanitary facilities, no playgrounds.

I am not going to inform how the schools are politically forced to stay out of teaching, as majority time of the schools get lost in arrangement of mid-day-meals.

I am not going to report how the School and Mass Education Department is not behaving as an ‘ideal employer’ as the Supreme Court has advised the public sector employers to be, because of which, more than 20,000 cases have been preferred by tortured teachers, out of which are 5000 Contempt of Court cases against the Government for not having honored the directions of the Courts as and when issued for settling the disputes the department is entangled with.

But I am going to tell you that, so incorrigibly litigant the department has become that, its Standing Counsel has resigned from the post, being pushed by the State government into a state of suffocation, where helping the Court with “effective” legal assistance as the departmental lawyer was becoming impossible.

The department is pushing the teachers and the schools into predicaments compelling them to seek redress in the Courts. But when cases are lodged and petitions are received and cases are registered and time for Government’s response is notified,  the department is not advancing its counters. Around 15,000 cases are pending at the initial state, as the government has been ignoring the necessity of formulating their counters, years after years, for around fifteen years.

BPTSuffocated to the core,  with the feeling that the Government’s reluctance to end the cases as soon as possible so that the teachers and institutions shall come out of the cocoon of litigation to devote their best to education in the state, the Standing Counsel Adv. Bibhu Prasad Tripathy has tendered his resignation a few days ago.

“MY INNER SOUL IMPELLED ME TO TENDER MY RESIGNATION”, he has said the Government. He is one of the finest lawyers the State has ever produced. An alumnus of the famous National Law School of India University, Bangalore, Mr. Tripathy is General Secretary of Progressive Lawyers’ Association and a member of the State Bar Council of Orissa.

For documentation, we place here his resignation letter:

BPT_Resignation

Truth Prevails: Samaja Occupiers Exposed Over Fraud and Forgery

Release of the booksamaja in maze of forgery news

BEST OF CELEBRATION OF MAY DAY IN BHUBANESWAR: SSF LAUNCHED ‘SAMAJA IN THE MAZE OF FORGERY’

May Day had the best of celebration in Bhubaneswar as an exploited employee of Orissa’s premier daily ‘The Samaja’ Sri Gagan Parida launched a milestone book on forgery, corruption and exploitation of workers in the major news daily, the founders of which were the most revered humanitarian leaders known as Panchasakha of Satyabadi, headed by Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das.

Book CoverThe book is ‘Samaja in Maze of Forgery’. It is a compilation of articles of Journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak published in orissamatters.com. President of Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association (UNEA), journalist Deviprasanna Nayak has compiled it.

The book has exposed how two former ministers of the State, one of who was the paper’s longest time editor, and being so, had bagged India’s third highest civilian honor – Padma Bhusana, had forged the Will of Utkalmani Pt. Gopabandhu Das to grab the ‘Samaja’ under cover of the Servants of the People Society (SoPS) and how since then the illegal occupiers of the renowned paper have been exploiting the workforce in blatant violation of industrial/labor laws by way of corrupting the State Administration and misusing the process of Law.

Subhas Chandra PattanayakIn introducing the book, author Subhas Chandra Pattanayak alleged that two former education ministers – Lingaraj Mishra and Radhanath Rath – had forged the Will of Pandit Gopabandhu to grab the Samaja under cover of the SoPS and had pushed the pride of Orissa – The JATIYA BANA VIDYALAYA to starvation death.

The book further exposes, he said, how a later editor of Samaja, Ms. Manorama Mahapatra, daughter of Radhanath Rath, had also forged the signature of a sub-editor to deny him his legitimate rank and salaries.

The book exposes how huge amount of rupees are swindled from the revenue of the Samaja by the Servants of the People Society, by using a forged Will of Gopabandhu and how the Registrar of Newspapers for India is sleeping over the allegation of ‘Save the Samaja Forum’, and how the District Judge office at Cuttack was used as a ‘breeding bed of forgery’ by the illegal occupiers of the Samaja.

The book is full of documentary evidences of the serious crimes committed by Radhanath Rath who was editor of the Samaja till his death and other two editors and members of the Servants of the People Society.

The book mentions how the workers are perishing under unfair labor practices, without getting regularized even after serving the major daily newspaper for more than 30 years, he said.

gagan paridaOne such worker is Sri Gagan Parida. He has been pushed into instant termination of his thirty years long continuous service, the moment he urged upon the management to designate him as a regular employee so that he could draw the benefits available under the labor laws. Like him. About 20 persons who had been working everyday regularly for decades in hope of regularization of their services have been summarily dismissed as they wanted to be regularized.

Save the Samaja Forum (SSF) that has published the book preferred to launch the book in the hands of Parida as he is the man who has worked in the paper for the longest period without being regularized.

Release of the book

Held in Lohia Academy auditorium with joint convener of SSF, eminent journalist Prasanta Patnaik in the chair, the meeting was addressed by Subartta editor Pradyumna Satapathy, Samadrusti editor Sudhir Patnaik and eminent author and founder editor of Chithi, political scientist Prof. Biswaranjan.

Adhyapak BiswaranjanProf. Biswaranjan called upon the Government to initiate action against the SoPS and retrieve from it all the money it has taken from the Samaja revenue for revival of the Bana Vidyalaya, as suggested in the book, without any loss of time, as publication of the Will of Gopabandhu that the occupiers of the Samaja are using in all official forums along with the signed probated copy of the real Will, has established that the occupier of the Samaja have forged and have been using the forged Will of Gopabandhu.

Sudhir Patnaik

 

Sri Sudhir Patnaik expressed absolute solidarity with SSF and demanded that in view of the exposure, the State Government should take prompt action against the miscreants and stop the Samaja from being further looted by unauthorized people.

Pradyumna SatapathyA single moment should not be lost, roared Sri Pradyumna Satapathy, in punishing the fellows that have evidently forged the Will of Gopabandhu and have swindled till date the revenue of the paper, while keeping the employees intimidated under hire and fire policy. He expressed total solidarity with the SSF in the noble cause and warned the intellectuals of the state that future will not pardon if despite publication of the irrefutable evidences of forgery, they stay silent spectators. He called upon the State Government to wake up to the occasion and save the icon paper of the State, founded by the noblest of noble souls like Utkalmani Gopabandhu and is four friend collectively famous as the Panchasakhas of Satyabadi.

Felicitations were offered to two great fighters from amongst the workers of the Samaja. They are Sahid Ramesh Chandra Patnaik and Sangrami Pitambar Mishra.

L.Senapari for Ramesh Patnaik

Sahid Ramesh Chandra Patnaik was summarily dismissed after putting up two decades long service without any allegation or charges. The labor officer had recommended his case for adjudication in the Industrial Tribunal. But, misusing media power, the government was dissuaded to refer his case to the tribunal. Industrial Disputes Act stipulates that no labor court of Industrial Tribunal can take cognizance of an Industrial Dispute unless referred to by the Government. Thus disadvantaged, Patnaik had gone to civil court that found the action of the management illegal. But instead of acting an ideal employer, the management knocked down the case in the Orissa High Court and forced the poor worker to seek justice, if he could, in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court struck down the High Court order and awarded a sum of Rs.2,000,00/- to be paid by the management within two months. But by then, Patnaik had passed away under slow starvation. To his co-workers, he became a martyr in the long battle for justice. So, on the occasion, he was felicitated posthumously. On his behalf, President of Cuttack District Journalists Association, Lalatendu Senapati received the felicitation.

felicitation_Pitambar Mishra

The second worker to be felicitated was Journalist Pitambar Mishra. He was a sub-editor whom without issuing any appointment letter, the management was using in reporting the evening and night city of Cuttack, over and above his desk job in daytime. After putting up eleven years of service, when he prayed to be regularized as a sub-editor in which rank he was originally engaged, he was summarily dismissed. His case, however, was referred to the Labor Court, Bhubaneswar. But, the management challenged the maintainability of the case under the plea that he was not an employee of the Samaja. The management, to the horror of Mishra, produced an agreement in a stamp paper where Mishra’s relation with Samaja was “principal to principal”, not employee to employer. Ms. Manorama Mohapatra had signed the agreement on first part and Mishra was shown to have signed it as the second part. Mishra challenged it as a forged agreement produced by the management to deny him his dues. His disputed signature was sent by the Court to the State Handwriting Expert and Forensic investigation established that Mishra’s signature was forged. With such clear evidence of forgery committed by the management, the reference went in favor of Mishra and because by then he had exceeded the superannuation age. Instead of ordering for his reinstatement, the Court commuted his legitimate dues and asked the management to pay the same immediately. But, the habitually litigant management has challenged the Labor Court award in the High Court, forcing Mishra to suffer starvation. The SSF, therefore, decided to felicitate Mishra for the fighting spirit he has displayed against exploitation by the powerful media house.

From the audience, strong supports were expressed with Tusarkant, a known conscience-keeper who shares his original thinking with the society writing prolifically in the media, stressing upon speedy but planned action against the wrongdoers.

Devi Prasanna NayakPresident of Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association, well-known desk-journalist Devi Prasanna Nayak detailed how internecine rivalry amongst the members of SoPS, which has evidently kept the Samaja under unauthorized occupation, has demoralized the workers and how the dedicated employees of the Samaja have been subjected to concocted cases and stage-managed enquiries and illegal dismissals.

Prasanta PatnaikPresident Sri Prasanta Patnaik announced that the SSF shall stand with the employees of the Samaja in their battle against exploitation and called upon the Government to initiate penal action against members of SoPS who are yet using the forged Will of Gopabandhu for their personal and collective benefit. The SSF campaign shall continue till SoPS is ousted from ownership of Samaja and the paper of the people is retrived from illegal ownership. He thanks the employees of the Samaja for their principled fight and called upon all labor unions to stand with the employees of the Samaja in their days of stark disadvantage. He called upon the RNI to peruse the exposure of forgery made in the released book of Subhas Pattanayak and deregister immediately the SoPS as owner of the Samaja.

photo(20)

 

Coordinator of SSF Pabitra Mohan Maharatha coordinated the event.

Ramesh Pattnaik: Martyr in the battle against exploitation in Samaja

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

As has already been shown, the history of Samaja under Servants of the People Society (SoPS) is a history of treachery, forgery and scourgery.

This write-up will narrate how a low paid employee of Samaja namely Ramesh Chandra Pattnaik breathed his last in a long fight for justice on the battle field of Law that spanned from a labor office at Cuttack to the Supreme Court at New Delhi, as his mighty employer, after having illegally dismissed him, had misused media power to obstruct adjudication of his dispute under the Industrial Disputes Act and yet again had foiled the relief granted to him by the lowest Civil Court, Cuttack by using the forum of the High Court of Orissa.

If anything, he is a martyr amongst the workers in the battle for justice in the ramparts of Law.

Anti-worker I.D.Act

bijubabu watchig scpTwo and half decades ago, I had set fire to Industrial Disputes Act in front of the Orissa Legislative Assembly when it was in session, to shock-awake the State Government to the need of reference of a case of dismissal of a Journalist (Vevekanand Dash) to the Industrial Tribunal. His powerful employer being the son-in-law of the Chief Minister of that time, the Minister of Labor had blocked the reference taking advantage of a provision in this Act that no industrial dispute raised by a worker can be taken into cognizance by a labor Court or Industrial Tribunal, despite Conciliation Officer’s recommendation, unless the State Government refers the dispute for adjudication. The then Leader of Opposition Biju Patnaik had witnessed my action, but as he also belonged to the class of exploiters, kept mum in the Assembly over the anti-worker provision in the I.D.Act.

Ramesh Pattnaik was the first victim of this provision in Orissa.

Rath and the rule of terror

Radhanath Rath, whom an anti-people Government had decorated with Padma Bhusan, was running a rule of terror in the Samaja organization. He was a ruthless oppressor and to him, the Samaja employees were just like subjects in a fiefdom. He was hiring and firing them as he liked. He was deriving a sadistic pleasure by keeping the employees intimidated. He had promulgated a standing order not by signing the same with the employees, but with an outsider behind back of the employees. He had ruined the employees’ collective morale to such extent that their trade union was accepting his hegemony in its affairs without any objection. We see trade union activism has grown amongst employees of Samaja only after demise of Rath. This speaks volumes of how Rath had kept the employees intimidated constantly.

And to keep the employee constantly intimidated, he was subjecting them to unfair labor practices as he liked. An example of his whimsical action was Ramesh Chandra Pattnaik.

He was, all on a sudden, given the shock of suspension on 9 April 1969. Rath was expecting that he would go and fall at his feet praying for withdrawal of the suspension order. He could have derived a sadistic pleasure from that. But, instead of falling at his feet, Ramesh preferred a complaint before the Labor officer. He was dismissed from service on 4 July 1969 under prevention of a domestic enquiry having found him guilty of charges framed against him.

Denial of reference under I.D.Act

Pattnaik challenged the illegal order of dismissal before the Labor Officer. Due to non-cooperation of management the conciliation failed.The Conciliation officer sent the failure report to the higher authorities with his recommendation for adjudication. But Rath used his tremendous media power to get the recommendation of the labor law implementation authorities rejected on 5 March 1070.

Browbeating the Civil Court

Ramesh knew of the design and understood that unless the government refers his dispute for adjudication, the Labor Court/Tribunal shall take no cognizance of his case. Therefore he had, without any prejudice to his industrial dispute, invoked the Civil Court jurisdictions on 14 Nov 1969 for declaration that the termination of his service was null and void and that he continued to be in service despite the order of dismissal and was entitled to the emoluments for the period subsequent to the date of dismissal.

In order to browbeat the Civil Court, heavyweight advocates were engaged to oppose the civil case under the plea that Pattnaik being an industrial worker, the Civil Court had no jurisdiction to entertain his case. The Munsif (Presiding Officer of the lowest Civil Court) in his order dated 12 Dec 1974 rejected the management plea and ordered that the suit was maintainable in his Court. He further declared that natural justice was denied to Pattnaik before dismissing him. But, surprisingly he refused to give him the relief sought for, interpreting employment of Pattnaik in Samaja as a contract of personal service.

Law is a conundrum and judges are not punished for wrong interpretations of law.

Appeal and after

Severely disadvantaged by the Munsif’s order that dismissed his suit despite finding how natural justice was denied to the him, Pattnaik approached the First Appellate Court who by its order on 17 Oct 1974 remanded the case to the Munsif with instructions to record findings on the additional issues to be framed consequent upon the amendment of plaint.

Hearing the case afresh, the Munsif said that Pattnaik was entitled to a decree of Rs.852.70 as compensation for “wrongful dismissal” and he was also entitled to pendent lite and future compensation at the rate of Rs.165 per month until he attends the age of 60 years or until his death whichever is earlier. But shockingly. the said Munisif rejected Patnaik’s claim for incremental pay, gratuity and bonus.

Pattnaik moved the Appellate Court again against this later part of the Munsif’s order whereas the management filed cross objections to the Munsif’s finding that the dismissal was “wrongful”.

The First Appellate Court dismissed the management’s cross objections and confirmed that Pattnaik’s dismissal was wrongful.

Rejecting the Munsif’s earlier observation that Pattnaik’s employment in Samaja was a matter of a contract of personal service, the First Appellate Court held that, his service had already acquired “a statutory status” by virtue of his conditions of service being governed by the Standing Orders. The AC therefore ruled that the dismissal of Pattnaik was contrary to law and he was entitled to the emoluments of the service since his dismissal till reinstatement, as his service shall not be treated as broken.

Samaja dragged the matter to High Court

An ideal employer should have seen his own fault in the mirror of the concurrent findings of both the courts that Pattnaik’s dismissal was wrongful and could have amended its wrong steps. But Rath was too anti-worker to honor the judicial wisdom that went in favor of the workman. He took the case to the High Court of Orissa, by using the SoPS. Biswanth Das and Others Vs Ramesh Chandra Patnaik and Another commenced.

The illegal occupiers of Samaja did not challenge the concurrent finding of both the Civil Courts that the order of dismissal of Pattnaik was wrongful inasmuch as it was made in violation of the principles of natural justice as well as the standing orders; but they challenged the Appellate Court’s orders that Pattnaik be treated as in continuous service with emoluments from the date of dismissal.

While thus admitting that their action against Pattnaik was “wrongful”, the wrong-doers told the High Court that once having invoked the conciliation power of the labor officer, the wrongly dismissed workman had no right to move the Civil Court. A single judge bench of the High Court relied upon another single judge verdict to say that, the wrongfully dismissed workman had no right to move the Civil Court, even though the State Government had blocked his right to be heard in the Industrial Tribunal. This judgment was delivered on August 9, 1978.

Ah! August 9 !

Ah! August 9, the day the poor exploited population of India had added their strength to Gandhi’s voice to give the ‘Quit India’ call to the British! What irony! A poor worker’s case was rejected by the State Government to be referred to the Industrial Tribunal for adjudication and the High Court nullified the relief given to him in the Civil Court by saying that the industrial adjudication was the only avenue available to him for redress of the wrong done to him, in the circumstance of the case, even though the I.D.Act says, no Labor Court or Industrial Tribunal can take cognizance of any industrial dispute unless referred to by the Government. What irony! What a great irony on the day of an anniversary of ‘quit India movement’ that the working class had made a success!

Law is a conundrum

Law is a conundrum and judges are free to interpret the laws and deliver their verdicts as their wisdom dictates, even if that denied justice to the wronged worker.

Heroic death of a Martyr

But the wronged poor man was having an exemplary workman spirit too real to acquiesce into accepting the single judge of the High Court as the last word in Law. He went in appeal to the Supreme Court.

He was physically and financially ruined. He had disposed of ancestral landed properties to sustain his family of six members including two sons and two daughters – all school going – and to meet the litigation cost.

Enforced idleness had already put him in slow starvation. Before he got justice in the Supreme Court, he breathed his last.

The great fighter carrying in his body the sufferings and determinations of the working class to overcome the sufferings, and epitomizing the spirit of the working class to fight against exploitation, died a heroic death.

Baton of fight carried by the wife

After his death, his wife Smt. Prasannaa Pattnaik took up the baton of fight from her husband’s funeral pyre and made herself and her children the substitutes for the Appellant in the case before the Supreme Court of India.

The Supreme Court disapproved the judgement of the single judge of the Orissa High Court and passed an order on allowing the appeal of Ramesh Chandra Pattnaik.

This order is very significant. I quote the relevant portion of the judgement below:

“We have heard learned counsels for the parties. During the pendency of this appeal, the workman died. His widow and four children have been brought on record as legal heirs. We are prima facie of the view that the High Court fell into error in reversing the judgment of the first appellate court. It is, however, not necessary for us to go into the merits of the controversy. Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of this case, specifically that the first appellate court granted relief to the workman as back as march 1976, we direct the respondent-management to pay a sum of Rs. two lacs as compensation to the widow of the workman within two months from today”.

It was a moral victory for Ramesh Chandra Pattnaik and his family. It had come to them on 23 January 1996.

January 23 revered in Orissa in matter of her two great sons – Veer Surendra Sai and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, became a day of posthumous victory of the Martyr amongst her working children, Ramesh Chandra Pattnaik.

Fight not over

But the fight against the oppressive management of Samaja is not yet over. Devi Prasanna Nayak, Subash Chandra Singh and others have been fighting for justice to the exploited employees of this this paper even today, and the State Government is continuing to ignore the unfair labor practices and exploitation resorted to by the illegal occupiers of the paper.

Vigilance Police used to victimize an Officer of Dalit Class for blocking his promotion to IAS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In the matter of gross illegality resorted to by Government of Orissa in selection of OAS officers to IAS in 2002, I had exposed how crystal clear was the transformation of the State Secretariat into a breeding place of favoritism and clientelism and how the selection was made in stark disregard to administrative impartialism. The caption of that article was – Crowning Corruption: Promotion to IAS smacks of Manipulation. It was published in ORISSA MATTERS on 11 June 2006 dwelling on the topic from manipulation in preparation of eligibility list by the General Administrative Department to verdicts of Administrative Tribunal, High Court of Orissa and finally the Supreme Court of India.

Following that exposure, genuine and deserving officers who had been victims of the manipulation and leg-pulling had of course been promoted to IAS. It should have been better had they prosecuted the fellows that had harassed them to help the undeserving persons. But, years to serve the government, tired of litigations upto the Apex Court, once the promotion was achieved, they did not dare to put their shoulders to the wheel in punishing the villains.

The trend has not changed. This time, the man the client entertainers are already in action to prey upon, is a Class I officer in Orissa Information Service, by name Sri Niranjan Sethi. He belongs to a Dalit caste, but to the envy of upper caste officers dazzling in power, his manners are magnificent, majestic and remarkably polished. He has been and is going to be a victim of this envy. Caste-supremacists had marred his promotion to IAS once in the past and I have evidence-based reasons to apprehend that they have started their mischief in advance, lest he gets shortlisted for promotion to IAS, when the next occasion comes.

In normal conditions, his promotion may not be stalled, if selections are done impartially.

So attempts have already been initiated to soil his name, which after stumbling upon, I have been investigating.

My investigation makes me convinced that Vigilance Police is being used for this nefarious purpose and even the Chief Minister is being used therein.

For proper understanding of the mischief, it would be better to look at how his prospects for promotion to IAS were marred last time in 2010.

Government of Orissa had received a total of 14 NSCS officers from different departments for filling up two vacancies in IAS of state cadre in 2010 out of which 10 officers were shortlisted. They were Ajay Kumar Bhuyan, Basant Kumar Dash, Bijaya Mishra, Gopabandhu Satapathy, Manoj Ranjan Nanda, Niranjan Sethi, Pradeep Kumar Biswal, Prasanta Kumar Patra, Sasanka Sekhar Panda and Sunil Kumar Panda. Vigilance police was called upon to clear their names.

Vigilance is a wing of GA department of which the concerned minister is the chief minister. It reported on 19.8.2010 that no case/enquiry was pending against Sri Niranjan Sethi. But its report went against one Sri Sasanka S.Panda. Panda was of I&PR department to which Sethi belongs.

Caste-supremacists contrived a new strategy immediately thereafter to drop Sethi from the shortlist.

Somebody raised an allegation against Sethi and without looking into veracity of the said allegation, the same vigilance police informed the Government on 4.9.2010 that, during an issue based enquiry the involvement of Sri Sethi came out in awarding of a contact of Rs. 3 crores to a private production house. Vigilance tried to baffle authorities with suggestive words to show as if Sethi awarded the contract by manipulating records. Juxtaposing this uncalled for communication from vigilance with its earlier report that “no case/enquiry was pending against Sethi, the administrative office correctly rejected the vigilance mischief and decided to recommend Sethi’s name to UPSC along with the name of Sasanka Sekhar Panda, Pradeep Kumar Biswal et al. Subsequently, a new list, reducing the shortlist from 10 to 9 by dropping Sethi’s name was sent to UPSC, without mentioning why his name was dropped. When challenged in the Administrative Tribunal, the Government had tried to take refuge under the plea that vigilance had telephonically informed of Sri Sethi’s involvement with the Rs.3 crore contract allocation. The tribunal had no problem in understanding the mischief. The entire eligibility list sent to UPSC after dropping Sethi from the same was set aside by the Tribunal, as, in its view, he had been illegally deprived of his right to be considered by the selection committee.

Two of the shortlisted candidates filed Writ cases in Orissa High Court challenging the verdict of the Tribunal. The High Court held that, the Tribunal’s determination that Sethi has been illegally deprived of his right to be considered was “absolutely just and proper”. But, yet, the Court did not want the interview to be nullified. It asked the government to send Sethi’s name afresh to the selection committee and asked the UPSC to withhold the result of its interview till examining Sethi and to take his performance together with the interviewed ones for publication of the results.

Sethi was subjected to interview by a new body, which forced him to a distinctly different pattern of test and evaluation. The two fellows, who had filed the Writ cases in the High Court assuming that they were selected, were declared selected, clearly suggesting that the selection was on dotted lines; and thus, the entire selection to IAS from NSCS quota was a great farce. Had Sethi been a Brahmin or a Karana or a Khandayat, this farce could never have got even the birth.

From note sheet dated 9.9.2010, it transpires that, when a mysterious telephonic call allegedly from the director of vigilance was cultivated to obstruct the recommendation in support of Sethi, the dealing bureaucracy had rightly pointed out that, if the so-called telephonic message could be taken as pregnant with an allegation against Sethi, then, “there is only one allegation in respect of Sri Sethi. No chargesheet has been issued against Sri Sethi, No chargesheet has been filed in any court of law against Sri sethi. As such, there is no bar for recommending the case of Sri Sethi to the UPSC for selection to IAS by appearing interview before the selection board”.

The above quoted note of the dealing bureaucracy was based on the explanation under proviso to Regulation 5 (5) of the IAS (Appointment by Promotion) Regulation, 1955, which says, ‘the proceedings shall be treated as pending only if a chargesheet has actually been issued to the officer or filed in a court as the case may be’.

In view of this, this time, the villains coming out of hibernation, have started playing their tricks for chargesheeting Sri Sethi. This time under a new plea. And, under a bigger conspiracy.

Why Gopabandhu?

The Servants of the People Society has occupied the Samaja by using a forged will of Pt. Gopabandhu Das. In orissamatters.com, re-posted in savethesamaja,com, Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra – the former two editors of Samaja as well as ministers of Orissa – have been exposed to have forged the will of Gopabandhu to grab the powerful, popular paper. Rath had taken maximum benefit till his death from the Samaja by projecting himself as the most loyal colleague of Gopabandhu. But, as I have already exposed, he was a low-paid servant of Gopabandhu, torturing him so much that the great humanitarian leader had to die a pathetic premature death. The occupiers of the Samaja know the truth and know that forgery committed on Gopabandhu’s will would one day wake up the entire population of Orissa against them. So, to hoodwink them permanently and to make their propaganda stronger that Gopabandhu has given them the Samaja by way of a will and Radhanath Rath was his real loyal colleague, they had prevailed upon Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to produce a film on Gopabandhu. Fellows of Brahmin caste – in consonance with the preferences of the illegal occupiers of the Samaja – were engaged to coin legends under the guise of research, to write the script and to direct the film. For a little time, Sethi was associated with the project as a production officer.

Now, the villains are using this small period of his link with the project to injure his prospects for promotion. I have already exposed how a member of the Assembly was used to ask coined questions and how the Chief Minister was used to give a reply on dotted lines. That set of question-answer was meant to harass Sethi with a design to affect his promotional prospects.

Joint Accounts, Collective responsibility

Records of the Assembly show that various members have time and again raised questions on this issue and the CM has answered in naming Sri Sethi, when production of a film is a team work involving officials from the dealing assistant to the Chief Minister. Moreover, funds dedicated to production of the film were never under disposal of Sethi. Whenever any amount was to be drawn from the sanctioned fund, the same was being operated through a joint account under orders and superintendence of the sanctioning authorities. So, there was no scope for Sethi to handle the funds by himself. But the Vigilance, it seems, has singled out him in the answer given by the CM.

Misuse of Assembly Answer

Intriguing is that, ghost writers are being used to use the same question-answers in invoking vigilance action against Sethi.

Referring to answer of the CM to UDAQ 1154 dated 23.6.2014, someone claiming to be Dr. Manoranjan Raut, Ex-Reader in Political Science, SCS College, Puri, has addressed a letter to B.K.Singh IPS, Director cum Addl. D.G. (Police),Vigilance Department, seeking action against Sethi. He has given copies to CM, Chief Secretary, Pr. Secretary, I&PR, I.G.Vigilance Cell, S.P. Vigilance Cell, and to Smt. Pranita Ray, Inspector, G.A. Vigilance Cell. Surprisingly, he has made many mention of profuse praise for Smt. Ray in this letter. A criminologists can, if engaged, only interpret the purpose of the profuse praises for Smt. Ray in this letter. But on investigation I found, that in SCS College, Puri, there was never a Political Science Reader by the name Dr. Manoranjan Raut.

Is vigilance a pawn?

Has he been created by someone who wants to please Smt. Pranita Ray?

The Director of Vigilance should look into this matter and keep necessary watch on Smt.Ray.

Vigilance police should not be a pawn in any villain’s hand to spread innuendos against any officer or to put stymies on way to any officer’s promotion.

The Chief Minister should be more cautious in answering seemingly motivated questions and before mentioningthe name of any particular officer in context of any corruption, he should ascertain whether all other officers suppoedly involved with a collective official project have been duly investigated into and set free, leaving the said single officer to be held responsible.

Assembly be not a Slaughter House of Natural Justice

No officer has any right to defend himself/herself in the Assembly against his wrongful naming by the Chief Minister. And, therefore, he should not make the Assembly a slaughter house of natural justice.

So, it would be proper for the Chief Minister to ask the vigilance police to investigate into who vitiated his repeated replies with motivated venom against a particular officer – Niranjan Sethi – who, on the basis of my five decades long watch on the Directorate of I&PR, I can vouch, is one of the finest officers with administrative spirit and probity the department can ever boast of.

Orissa Assembly: Maneuvered Answer makes one wonder, was the Question motivated?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The State Assembly is the last hope for a democratic people, because ministers that rule are to answer the questions from their representatives, so that they can understand and evaluate the administration that runs in their name. If questions are cultivated and answers are maneuvered the purpose of question-answer gets lost in a labyrinth that democracy would never cherish.

Therefore, question No. UD 154 by Sri Chandra Sekhar Majhi, MLA and the Chief Minister’s answer thereto on 9 February 2015 deserve attention.

Sri Majhi had put four questions that day, In *59, he had wanted to know from the Works Minister which of the roads and bridge and building of which department the works department is executing in Kotpad Constituency and how many projects have been completed in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and which projects are to be executed this year in Kotpad, with list thereof. In UD 233, Sri Majhi wanted to know from the same Minister what steps have been taken on development, repair and maintenance of how many kilometers of works department roads in Kotpad during the last two years along with the amounts sanctioned therefor. In UD 234 Sri Majhi asked the Water Resources Minister if survey is conducted to provide irrigation in Kotpad constituency from the major irrigation projects on rivers Indravati, Kolab and Ja’nra and if not, when steps in that regard are to be taken. But in UD 154, the pattern of his question was different from what normally was seen in the aforesaid questions. He has a set pattern. we may see the same in earlier questions of the session, that began on February 7. On that day, he had two questions. UD 104 was his question to Sports and Youth Welfare Minister on whether he would provide funds for a stadium under Kotpad N.A.C. and in UD 105, he had asked the Minister of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare about what remedial steps the Government has taken to stop distress-sale of paddy in Kotpad constituency. The same pattern is also seen in his post February 9 questioning, as evidenced in his questions of February 10. He had two questions that day. in *72, he had asked the Rural Development Minister about how much money was sanctioned for development of the road from Kotpad to Au’li under Kotpad constituency and what was the position of execution of the work order and by what time it would be completed. In UD 285, he had asked the same minister if he knows the sudden stoppage of bridge work on river Indravati and, if yes, what alternative has been provided for and if the government would continue with the work by re-tendering. Thus, all these questions preceding and following UD 154 speak of a set pattern that Sri Majhi is marked for.

The only deviation is UD 154 of February 9.

Here he directly uses specific files of vigilance cell to ask the Chief Minister what action has been taken against whom so far on basis of vigilance cell File No,2/25.03.2007, File No.41 dated 10.12.2008 and File No. 28 dated 04.09.2010.

questions of Chandra Sekhar Majhi on 9.2.15For better appreciation, the photocopy of the concerned set of questions he had asked on February 9 is inserted here.

How he used the Files of Vigilance which are supposed to be kept secret till final disposal? If he is that investigative, good. To establish that he is such investigative that he has kept his eyes upon all the limping vigilance cases, let him immediately reveal the whole gamut of files of all the cases the Vigilance wing is now investigating into and let the vigilance say, if it is its habit to keep the MLAs apprised of the cases it is handling with the file numbers.

Otherwise, it would look like a cultivated question put by a shadow/ghost operator in the mouth of Majhi.

Cultivated questions not new

Putting questions for money or for any vested interest is not new in our Parliamentary system. History has witnessed how Congress members were caught along with BJP and other non-left members in instances of putting questions on behalf of shadow operators in Indian Parliament. “Cash for question” is a sad experience of India.

Actions, of course, were taken in the exposed cases; but it is difficult to say that the syndrome is no more alive.As we see, even instances of capital punishment against crime of murder has not stopped the crime. So the question under question craves for clarification on what changed the pattern of questioning by Sri Majhi, particularly in the context of specific vigilance files having given him the pivot.

Answer not aboveboard

The answer of the Chief Minister is also very intriguing. There is a difference of date in matter of File No.2 in the CM’s answer, when under column head – Name of the suspect officers – he says, “Issue based open enquiry against officials of I & PR department”, which suggest that more than one officer was/is involved in malpractice that the vigilance is enquiring into. Under the head ‘Allegation’, noted are the words, “In the matter of false daily circulation figures of Odia daily “The Sashan Khabar” “The Pratidin” and “Paryabekshak” and misappropriation of Govt. fund from advertisement”. But despite this being a case of 2007 and circulation of these papers known to government on the basis of which it is seen that misappropriation of Govt. fund from advertisement is committed through inflated figures of circulation of these papers, the chief minister has said, “Enquiry is in progress”; so efficient is our vigilance police. He has neither elaborated why the enquiry is limping for long eight years, nor the department that helped him giving this answer has the correct and complete scenario.

When File No. 28 is said to have been closed, the CM’s answer in the matter of File No. 41 has named only one officer, who is a Deputy Director of the relevant time.

It is informed that the enquiry is completed and departmental action against the said officer is recommended to G.A.Department vide letter No.9504 of Vigilance Cell dated 30.12.2014. The allegation stands on “payment of remuneration to the Director (of a film the department is producing) on higher side”.

Despite this answer, the issue seems not correctly dealt with, because production of film is a collective work and can never be accepted to have been vested in any single individual.

Moreover, departmental production of a film is not possible in absence of budget allocation, which cannot materialize unless item-wise expenditure including remuneration of Director of the film is meticulously estimated, enumerated, vetted and approved.

The Production officer of the film and the Director as well as the Secretary of I&PR department are to execute the production.

How could a particular Deputy Director is named by the Chief Minister in his answer without evaluating the vigilance report when no material officer has been held responsible? Was the said Deputy Director bestowed upon with paramount power in the department in bypassing the departmental Director and Secretary, so that the vigilance could held only him responsible for higher remuneration to the film Director? Has the Chief Minister examined this, before reflecting the vigilance report in his answer?

Misuse of Assembly facility

Questions and answers in the Assembly are not meant to stay secret in the records only. They are, in fact, meant for the general public in a Republic. They affect the public if any shadow operator uses the facility to harass any individual citizen or any particular officer, with any hidden agenda.

Nobody but the general public should be the end-beneficiary of any question-answer in the Assembly or Parliament. It is, therefore, necessary for the Government to revisit the said question and the CM’s corresponding answer to see if some vested interest has/have tried to harass the named officer by misusing the question-answer facility of the House.

Vigilance needed against vigilance

It is often seen that various administrative offices, particularly the vigilance wing, is used by vested interest fellows to harass and debar suitable officials from their legitimate promotions.

Many such instances are discussed earlier in these pages. Even the former Director General of Orissa Police (presently the DG of CRPF) had to openly say, the State Vigilance has instituted a “case of vendetta” against him to debar him from promotion. “It’s an attempt to scuttle my chances for Director CBI vacancy coming in December 2014” he had told the media when the case was instituted against him.

Unless such a motive to scuttle the named officer’s chances for promotion has not generated the question, MLA Sri Majhi should disclose as to how the specific files of the vigilance cell came to his knowledge and why he used only those files to form his question and the Chief Minister should also reveal as to why in the legitimate environment of involvement of many officers beginning from the dealing assistant to the departmental secretary in film production, only a single person with no direct link with the subject has been named by him.

Is his answer maneuvered by somebody who wants to scuttle the promotional prospects of a particular officer for which he has been named?

This episode, read with allegations of the former DGP Sri Prakash Mishra, makes out a case for investigation into activities of the vigilance police. Vigilance against vigilance is necessary.

Unless the points raised here are explained, it would look as if the answer is maneuvered as the question is motivated.