IF IAS OFFICER ARDHENDU SARANGI IS NOT THE ASSAULTER, PROSECUTE HIM IN THE SPIRIT OF SEC 39 OF THE CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Code of Criminal Procedure is the one instrument that the Law enforcement authorities cannot discard or disobey. It gives the authority required by the authorities to act against criminals.

At Section 39 (1), it makes mandatory for every citizen to inform the “nearest Magistrate or Police Officer” of occurrence of certain offenses. Let us see what it says.

It says, “Every person, aware of the commission of, or of the intention of any other person to commit, any offence punishable under any of the following sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (as categorized under Clauses from i to xii) shall, in the absence of any personal excuse, the burden of proving which excuse shall lie upon the person so aware, forthwith give information to the nearest Magistrate or Police Officer of such commission or intention”.

Before going to the relevant Clause, it would be better to appreciate the emphasis given on this section. The word shall here is absolutely mandatory. It makes it compulsory for every individual to forthwith give information to the nearest Magistrate or Police Officer the moment he or she is aware of commission of a crime or any other person’s intention to commit a crime.

The crime comprising the mischief of this section is of various types indicated in the clauses from i to xii like offenses against the State coming under Clause (i); offenses against public tranquility as shown under Clause (ii) etc. The offenses affecting life are covered under Clause (v).

An offense affecting the life of Class IV public servant Ramesh Sethi has been committed under the residential privacy of IAS Officer Ardhendu Sarangi. Either Ardhendu himself or any of his family members who share residential privacy with him has committed the crime. This is so suspected, because he has not informed the authorities of any other person even though the crime is committed within the secured privacy of his residence.

It is he who took Sethi under coma from his residence to the Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar and from there to the S.C.B. Medical College Hospital, Cuttack.

Had he no ulterior motive, he should have kept the records straight and facilitated operation of criminal justice system by informing forthwith the nearest Magistrate or the nearest Police Officer.

There is no Magistrate so far on records to have pressed the police to action in this case on Sarangi’s information. This means, Sarangi, though aware of the crime commissioned, has not forthwith informed the nearest Magistrate. On the other hand, the nearest police officer i.e. officer-in-charge of Capital Police Station is on records to have said that the only information received by police in the matter is from a man who does not reside in the residence of Sarangis.

Now when Police knows that Ardhendu was aware of the commission of the crime from the moment it occurred, specifically as it was he who took the victim in coma condition to the Hospital(s), why have they not initiated penal actions against him for having willfully concealed the fact from the lawful authorities?

Taking plea of personal excuse is also not permissible to Ardhendu.

The law is very clear and specific. It has stipulated that “the burden of proving” the justification of the “excuse” that prevented from forthwith informing the nearest Magistrate or the nearest Police Officer, “shall lie upon the person so aware”. When the word “shall” is mandatory, unavoidability of the “excuse” must have to be “proved” by the person concerned to escape punishment for having not informed the nearest Magistrate / Police officer “forthwith”.

And, where the justification of the “excuse” may be “proved”? Only in a court of Law competent under the Evidence Act.

So until the justification of an “excuse” is “proved” in a competent Court of Law, Police must continue to prosecute the person who despite being aware of commission of a crime has not informed the nearest Magistrate / Police officer.

In view of this legal stipulation, the Police is duty bound to prosecute Ardhendu Sarangi and all the members of his family individually and collectively for having stayed away from informing the nearest Magistrate or the nearest Police Officer of commissioning of the crime, in due deference to the spirit of Section 39 of the Cr.P.C.

On the other hand, the so called FIR from a persona nongrata that the Police has haphazardly entertained in this case, informs that he saw a man known as Pradip Nayak who works also in Ardhendu’s residence along with Sethi, was walking away from Ardhendu’s compound after assaulting the victim with a spade.

Now, if an iota to credence could be given to this information, Ardhendu would attract prosecution under section 201 of IPC as his action, in such circumstances would tantamount to “causing disappearance of evidence of offense” specifically as the body of class IV employees has stoutly denied working of any such man of their rank in Sarangi residence and further as that man has disappeared.

On another thread of Law, if Pradip was really a man, legally or extra-legally pressed on domestic duty by the Sarangis in their official residence, and he has perpetrated the murderous assault on Sethi, then giving credence to the aforesaid informant, Sarangi and his family individually and collectively attract prosecution under section 119 and section 120 of IPC.

Nobody commits a crime thus grave without any criminal intent.

If Pradip has committed the crime, according to the so-called eyewitness informant, he did it without exchanging any word with the victim and walked away from the compound without any obstruction. That means he had a concealed design to murder Sethi. By not informing the nearest Magistrate or the nearest Police Officer of commencement of the crime, Ardhendu has concealed the culprit, which by extension means, he has facilitated execution of concealed design of Pradip to murder Sethi. Therefore he is prosecutable under section 120 of IPC that says if the offense is committed, the facilitator “shall be punished with imprisonment of the description provided for the offense and with such fine as is provided for”.

The IPC under section 119 has provided specific punishment for “whosoever being a public servant intending to facilitate knowing it to be likely that he will thereby facilitate the commission of an offense which it is his duty bas such public servant to prevent, voluntarily conceals by any act or illegal omission, the existence of a design to commit such offense ………..shall, if the offense be committed, be punished with imprisonment of any description provided for the offense for a term which may extend to one-half of the longest term of such imprisonment, or with such fine as is provided for that offense, or with both”.

Instead of playing hoodwinking tricks, Chief Minister Navin Patnaik should ask the Police to Act according to Acts in force, a few threads of which are discussed above.

And, instead of showing us stars on the day sky, Police should assure us that it understands the spirit of the Code of Criminal Procedure and has the aptitude to act according to the Code even if thereby it is to act against powerful IAS officers.

Hoodlumism of IAS officers has shown its ugly face many a times in Orissa even to the extent of posing open affront to authority of the Assembly. This time the aggrieved persons are neither the MLAs nor self-centric persons who benefit by hobnobbing with those people in power. This time it is a very poor man who having served the State as an employee in the lowest cadre for more than 15 years has not been regularized in service but on the other hand, pressed to do duties in the residence of couple in IAS has been used in menial works and lastly been brutally assaulted to the extent of hospitalization under coma that necessitated a brain-repair through neurosurgery without his knowledge and without knowing what dreaded damage that would throw him into. In a remarkable solidarity show, the Class IV employees of the State at Bhubaneswar have warned the Chief Minister that they will not tolerate any attempt to hush up the offense.

Therefore it is better for the Chief Minister to ensure that the Police under his control acts according to the Code of Criminal Procedure and refrain from killing the spirit of Section 39 thereof by prosecuting Sarangi under the sections discussed supra if not under 307 of IPC.

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WE WON’T TOLERATE HUSHING UP, DECLARE THE CLASS IV EMPLOYEES

Murderous assault on low-paid employee Ramesh Sethi in the residential compound of Sarangi couple occupying senior echelons in IAS has irritated government employees in the lowest category of Class IV to the extent of warning the Chief Minister that they will never tolerate if any attempt to hush up the crime is encouraged.

They suspect hushing up attempts on two grounds: (1) even though the murderous assault was perpetrated behind his residential privacy and Sri Ardhendu Sarangi had taken Sethi in unconscious condition to the Capital Hospital, neither he nor his wife Madhur has informed the Police of this and (2) a persona nongrata has submitted information at a very belated stage before the police projecting another nonentity as the possible assaulter.

Attempts to have investigation into the matter through the Chief Secretary of IAS fraternity notwithstanding no fitment of him in the criminal justice system is another factor of suspicion that an attempt to hush up the crime by overawing police investigators is on the anvil.(SCP)

DISMANTLE INDIRA GANDHI PARK TO RESTORE THE DEMOCRACY POINT

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Residents of government quarters in both the sides of Mahatma Gandhi Marg spanning between the Assembly junction and the Railway station roundabout in Bhubaneswar are deeply disturbed due to use of amplifiers by demonstrators who gather in the boulevard in hundreds and in thousands every now and then to voice their protests against unrelenting misrule.

The residents have been demanding for a ban on demonstrations and / or protest gatherings on MGM or in the boulevards in deference to their right to peace and tranquility. And conscious as they are of the adverse impact of noise pollution that the demonstrations generate, they are absolutely justified in raising this demand.

Public demonstrations and protest rallies are not the only events that bang the boulevards here; but also this is the place where state level ceremonial parades take place to the crippling of free movement of the residents as and when required by the authorities. So, the residents are really disadvantaged.

The Government quarters flanking MGM are of highest types and occupants thereof are high placed official functionaries except a marginal few from media.

No wonder the government has decided to oblige them by promulgating a permanent ban
on demonstrations and protest rallies as per demand of the concerned residents.

The Home Secretary is eager to locate an alternative place where demonstrations may be allowed.

Reportedly a high level team is pressed on the job. Nothing could be more laughable and ludicrous.

Were the boulevards flanking MGM ever earmarked as the places for the aggrieved public to offer their demonstrations that now the government is planning to change?

What sort of a government is in power now? Why it is so confused?

Are the demonstrators rushing to Bhubaneswar streets daring scorching sun or showering clouds or chilling cold waves for a dating with administration so that they should be expected to offer their proposal decently in a designated place?

Peoples are thronging MGM boulevards to voice their protests against lack of probity in administration, against loss of direction in administration, against injustices they are subjected to under administration, in a nutshell, against misadministration.

They are coming to break law on records on the roads of the capital city in order to show the government that they have no more any respect for the laws of the land as the same do not help the peoples but act as umbrellas to protect the exploiters and the enemies of the peoples.

One is to see to believe how enthusiastically peoples are breaking laws and jumping into police vans after administration arrests them; no qualms, no remorse, no repentance. This happens when peoples perform patriotic duties oblivious of repressive measures the government may take.

The Country is theirs and that is collapsing under continuous misrule by commission agents in possession of posts of power. Therefore the protest rallies, therefore the demonstrations.

Is the government expecting that the peoples who gather to register their protests through civil disobedience would obey official orders to demonstrate their protests in a place directed by the government at a far away distance from the State Secretariat?

If the government feels it would happen then here is a government that seriously lacks in sense of proportion.

Peoples will never honor any order that would restrict their rights to voice their protests against misrule.

Therefore, instead of making a farce of its own order, it would be better for the administrators as well as for democracy to dismantle the Indira Gandhi Park and to restore it to its previous position of a democracy points.

When Capital of Orissa shifted to Bhubaneswar, the ground where Indiara Gandhi Park now stands was earmarked as the democracy point. It was reserved for democratic activities. The State Level ceremonial parades on occasion of the Independence Day and the Republic Day were taking place on this ground. When eminent leaders were addressing the peoples they were doing that on this ground. Prime Ministers beginning from Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi had addressed the peoples on this ground only. Similarly Leaders of Opposition beginning from the legendary communist leader A.K.Gopalan, who was the first recognized Leader of Opposition in India to the present leader of Opposition L.K.Advani had addressed the peoples on this ground. Leaders neither in power nor in the opposition benches of Parliament but in hearts of every Indian like Rajaji had addressed the peoples from podiums on this ground. This was the ground where aggrieved peoples of Orissa were voicing their concern and demonstrating their protests against bad governance and this was the ground from where peoples of Orissa were receiving informed signals to change administration in their State.

J.B.Patnaik, under whose rule in nineteen eighties, this ground had been umpteen times used by the peoples of Orissa as their lunching pad to send salvoes of protest against corruption and misadministration, had wanted obliteration of this excellent point of vigilant participation of the general public in democracy. The opportunity came to his hand when Indira was assassinated on going back from Orissa after delivering her last speech on this ground. His coterie proceeded immediately to destroy this ground of immortal memories and to extinguish every possibility of its future use by the vigilant public against misrule. In the name of creating crescent lake, profuse money was spent to remove soil from where now the water pool of BDA Nicco Park stands and to dump that soil on this ground to build up Park landscape. Money was looted both the ways; but the loss was nothing for the government to bother. Indiara Gandhi Park emerged on the deathbed of democracy on this ground.

Now when the government is planning to obstruct people from expressing their vigilant reaction on misadministration by putting a ban on use of the MGM by demonstrators, it would be better for officials to note that the government that had then declared to have ceremonial parades in the Kalinga Stadium or in a ground to be named Janata Maidan following conversion of this ground to the Indira Gandhi Park is not keeping to its decision and on the contrary, it is causing the parades on MGM as hinted to above.

So, it is time, the mischief behind creation of Indira Gandhi Park be reassessed and steps be taken to demolish it in order to restore this ground as the democracy ground where peoples as before would address and be addressed in matter of vigilant participation in democracy. It would be rather a befitting tribute to Indira who had delivered her last public address here.

The Forest Park is quite near to this spot and is enough to accommodate the visitors of Indira Gandhi Park.

Unless it is done, any attempt to deny peoples the right to voice their protests against misrule or to air their warnings to their government on basis of vigilant participation in democracy would be futile and lead to confrontation which would be dangerous to democracy.

So, demolish the Indiara Gandhi Park with Indira’s statue kept in tact to witness democratic participation of general public in keeping on leash an errant administration.

IT PORTENDS JUDICIAL ANARCHY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The lawyers of Berhampur have been brutally beaten up by Police as they were mounting collective pressure for establishment of a branch of Orissa High Court in that part of the State.

The lawyers of Sambalpur have already kept their demands for a branch of the High Court in their region on records.

Bhubaneswar has already witnessed a lawyers’ stir in demanding a High Court seat.

Similar demands from remote parts of Orissa have started rumbling.

But, the police assault on Berhampur lawyers has not only made lawyers of different parts of Orissa emotionally embarrassed, but also has tormented the litigant public to apprehend that it perhaps portends a judicial anarchy.

We are made to believe that stir of lawyers for a seat of High Court in their respective regions has earned stern disapproval of the High Court. But that cannot be a cause for subjecting lawyers to such a nasty treat.

If the lawyers have been building up collective pressure for a seat of the High Court in their respective regions, it is not in their personal interest, but in interest of the litigant public.

The litigant publics of Orissa are severely hit by inordinate delay in justice. Justification of delay in disposal of cases under the plea of insufficiency in numbers of judges in the High Court is itself a mockery of justice. A High Court is the highest court of justice in a state and is the controlling authority of dispensation of justice in the area under its jurisdiction. A High Court is competent to make laws as would be required in interest of justice. A High Court is competent also to issue a judicial direction to a government to carry out the judicial law it so frames. If existing judges are inadequate in Orissa High Court to dispose off cases without delay, it should formulate necessary methods to avoid delay in justice and if more judges are required it should determine the required number and make the government arrange for their appointment. Instead of doing that why should there be maintained a climate where delay in justice would be justified?

Peoples have a birthright to receive justice at the quickest possible opportunity; but in Orissa they are being compelled to tolerate enforced loss of their age and energies in waiting for the High Court decisions.

Besides O.J.C., litigants affected by decisions at lower level also prefer appeals in the High Court. The lower Court lawyer, eager to protect his/her client’s interest often prefers an appeal in the High Court.

In these or in Writ cases, whosoever prefers any litigation in the High Court, may be by own intelligence or under advice of the lawyer of the lower court, does so only through a High Court practitioner at Cuttack.

So when a case gets inordinately delayed in the High Court, the lawyer in the periphery through whom the litigant might have contacted or engaged a High Court practitioner at Cuttack is bound to be embarrassed by being required to explain his or her client the delay. On the other hand, there are brilliant lawyers in the periphery who, notwithstanding failure in the lower court, might be because of deficiency in comprehension or lack of probity on part of the concerned judge, are much more competent than many of the High Court practitioners to handle the case in the High Court, interpretation of the Law there being pivotal. In the circumstances demand for a High Court seat in Berhampur, Sambalpur and elsewhere is justified and is not averse to justice.

In fact, establishment of seats of a High Court in various regions of a State would be an act of ensuring speedy and less expensive justice to the peoples.

Demands for branches of the High Court cannot be anything other than a revolutionary expression of legal activism that aims at making justice available at doorstep.

Instead of appreciating this silent revolution, if repression goes on, judicial anarchy would spread.

Needless it is to elaborate that judicial anarchy cannot be preferred to legal activism as long as democratic sovereignty remains the creed of the country.

NEED INTEREST-FREE FINANCE? SATISFY A BJP MINISTER, LOOT AN OFFICIAL INSTITUTE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Do you need heavy cash to invest in business? Do you want that there should be no interest charged for the large amount you would take? Do you find it impossible to obtain such interest-free finance from any nationalized /commercial Bank?

Do not worry. Satisfy a minister of Orissa specifically if he or she belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a way would surely be devised to help you loot an official institute.

Look at how a team of land dealers styled as Konark Hovel (P) Ltd (herein after called Hovel) has looted the premier cooperative housing society of Bhubaneswar, the Capital Cooperative Housing Limited (hereinafter called the Society). You may get the clue.

Look at what has happened.

In 2004, operators of Hovel were in need of funds worth about Rs.50 lakhs to invest in real estate trade. No Bank was ready to grant it a loan of such heavy amount.

Had they taken a loan they would have paid heavy interest; the trade being speculative and the time to earn ability on their part to repay the loan being uncertain and inestimable.

So, looting cash of an official institute seemed more lucrative. Aravind Dhali, then of BJP, was minister in charge of the department of cooperation. This department runs and controls banking networks. He agreed to collaborate and organized the necessary umbrage for the looting.

The Society at that time was running perfectly under an elected Board of Directors. The Government in the department of Cooperation under Dhali superseded the elected Board and appointed a man called T. Prasad Rao Dora as President and a pack of sycophants of Dhali as Directors of the Society.

Rao and his team provided Hovel with the funds it needed from the funds of the Society.

To this effect a scheme was cooked up.

Accordingly the Society would search for land to develop a housing project and Hovel would come forward with an offer and money was to be paid to it against procurement of ghost lands.

Even as the Society would not get the land registered, Hovel would be free to use the money received against the offered land in its own business and return the amount sans any interest at any unspecific time to its own advantage. And, the amount so refunded would be accepted by the Society as to its prudence it would then be fed that an unregistered agreement for transfer of any property having no legal binding under The Transfer of Property Act, 1882, it would be better to get back the money, at least in principal.

But this transaction being entirely illegal, it was planned to purchase cooperation of the Chief Executive (an officer of the cooperation department) and the officer, according to a source, agreed to agree to the proposal at a price of Rs.10 lakhs.

The source says, Rs.0.10 lakh was paid to him immediately on 6 March 2004 and it was decided to pay him Rs.10 lakhs in two installments. Firstly a token amount of Rs.2 lakhs would be sanctioned as advance against cost of land so that Hovel would be sure of the flow of money. On receipt of the first installment of Rs.2 lakhs towards advance, Hovel should pay that entire amount to the Chief Executive. After receipt of the final dose, Hovel would pay him the rest amount of Rs.8 lakhs, it was decided.

Then came the question of agreement.

A Notary was taken to confidence. But sensing the rat, the Notary demanded half a lakh of Rupees to Notarize the agreement. The deal was finalized at a sum of Rs.0.40 lakhs on 8 March 2004.

A ghost agreement was notarized in the same night.

And, it was decided to pay Hovel Rs.2.40 lakhs instead of Rs.2 lakhs so that the payment of Rs.0.40 lakhs to the Notary would be covered therein. Signatures of the parties and witnesses were to be collected on the body of the ghost agreement later in order to give it a genuine color.

The signatures of the parties and witnesses were collected on 10 March 2004 and then, as conspired, on 12 March 2004, a sum of Rs.2.40 was paid to the Chief Executive of the Society by Hovel in cash against receipt of the same amount from the Society as a token of advance payment against the proposed land deal.

After cooperation of the departmental officer thus purchased, a sum of Rs.40 lakhs was paid to Hovel only the next day, i.e. on 13 March 2004.

Hovel was in dire need of this money. But Rao and his team of Directors wanted their mutually decided amount of payola out of this payment lest it escapes with the money, as they knew that the so-called agreement would have no legal enforceability.

At this stage Dhali came to the rescue of Hovel.

Under his advice off the record, the Chief Executive devised a new trick of cheating.

Accordingly an “Irrevocable General Power of Attorney”(IGPA) was formulated and a further sum of Rs.15 lakhs was paid to Hovel on 29 April 2004. Rao and his team of Directors shared their share of payola with Dhali out of this payment.

The IGPA was later registered authorizing the Chief Executive, Dr. Prasant Kumar Pradhan, s/o Anant Charan Pradhan of village Nuapada under P.S. Kundeigola of Deogarh district to dispose off any portion or entire of the land mentioned in the agreement to any party or parties as he would prefer at any time on behalf of the Society.

Even as this document was used to hoodwink the general members of the Society in case any of them gets suspicious about the transaction, it was mutually decided that the Attorney holder would never use this IGPA and to ensure that Dr. Pradhan remains loyal to this decision, he was paid the rest of the promised amount i.e. Rs.8 lakhs on 13 May 2004 by Hovel after receiving the amount in shape of advance on that day.

With the loot thus complete, Rao and his co-Directors gave way for election of a new Board. The CE being involved with the loot, the matter could not come to the notice of the general members.

It needs be marked that Dr. Pradhan is continuing as the CE, but has neither got the land registered in the Society’s name nor has ever used the IGPA to its advantage.

Had he wanted, he could never have succeeded; because, he knew the so-called documentation had no practical enforceability. He was only organizing time so that Hovel could organize a repayment without interest.

But with an elected Board in power, it could not have been possible to keep the issue dormant always. So a nominated body was needed.

It was not a problem with the saffron lady Surama Padhi as the Minister of Cooperation.

She took such steps that election was not carried out in respect of the Society. The department nominated a saffronist Govind Chandra Panda as the President –cum-single member Board of the Society. Notwithstanding election of the Board much later, Panda continued as President and Hovel was provided with the necessary climate to refund the money sans interest and get rid of the threatening ghost deal issue forever.

With this congeniality established, after long four years, Hovel has returned Rs.62 lakhs against the principal amount of Rs.65.10 lakhs drawn from the Society funds and paid to it as discussed above.

The amount has clandestinely been accepted putting the Society in loss of several crores of Rupees.

If you want to have interest-free finance, you may try this trick till the Cooperation department is in charge of a saffronist minister.

HOW DO YOU RATE THIS GOVERNMENT?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Now I am not going to tell you how manufacturers of fake medicines have enjoyed political patronage when Navin Patnaik has been running the State Government.

I am not going to tell you how contractors have hijacked welfare projects under the umbrage of administration.

I am not going to tell you how with official help looters have ruined the Health System Development Project for which the State had obtained loan from the World Bank

I am not going to tell you how social auditors have held the State Government responsible for embezzling of public exchequer by persons in power.

I am not going to tell you how the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has unveiled massive misappropriation of official funds by functionaries in different departments under Navin Patnaik’s regime.

I am not going to tell you how Navin Patnaik has shown eager interest in handing over Orissa’s mineral and other natural resources to non-Oriya and even non-Indian business operators when about 70 percent of the children of this soil are perishing sans land and livelihood.

I am not going to tell you how underworld has built up nexus with the police and how mafia is ruling the roost.

I am not going to tell you of this; because, you know all this and much more.

I am going to tell you how Navin Patnaik Government is playing havoc with human life by willfully killing the Laws of the land. And, I will place only a few examples.

We all know that bio-medical waste is very harmful to human health. For its management and handling, a specific set of Rules, called The Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 has been framed and enforced.

Under Rule 4 thereof,

“every occupier of an institution generating bio-medical waste which includes a hospital, nursing home, clinic, dispensary, veterinary institution, animal house, pathological laboratory, blood bank by whatever name called, is to take all steps to ensure that such waste is handled without any adverse effect to human health and the environment”.

Bhubaneswar is the capital city of the State. The main hospital of this city is the Capital Hospital. It has overcrowded wards in almost all streams of human health. General Surgery to Orthopedics to Dental to Gynecology to Gastroenterology to Pediatrics to contagious diseases- every ward is overcrowded by indoor patients. It has Operation Theaters – general and departmental- minor and major; it has pathological labs and blood bank and it generates massive bio-medical waste everyday. It stands on the road traversed daily by Chief Minister Navin Patnaik between his residence and the Secretariat. His party headquarters stands adjacent to this hospital. How does it handle the bio-medical waste? The picture placed below should tell you that.

The hospital has kept broken the western side of its compound wall through which the waste is shunted out into the open space touching the public road and as rag-pickers jump on to it in search of used syringes and transmission pipes etc that find buyers in the recycling racket, the concerned staff sets fire to the waste deposits. The smoke spreads clouds of obnoxious smell all over the adjoining locality.

If this is how the bio-medical waste is handled by the Capital Hospital, I think, you can easily grasp what havoc Navin Patnaik government is playing with human health in other parts of Orissa.

But such mismanagement of bio-medical waste is not the only hazard that human society has been subjected to under the Navin regime. Deliberate massacre of civil health Laws such as the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 (hereinafter called the 2000 Rules) and the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003 (hereinafter called the 2003 Act) are some of the instances of how Navin has been running a nonchalantly anti-people administration.

The 2000 Rules referred to above stipulates under Rule 7,

“any municipal solid waste generated in a city or a town, shall be managed and handled in accordance with its compliance criteria and the procedure laid down in Schedule II”.

This Schedule has given elaborate instructions on how to manage and handle the waste.
But there are also prohibitions imposed by this Schedule.

In the Compliance criteria, the basic instruction in the matter of collection of municipal solid waste is stipulated with the words, “littering of municipal solid waste shall be prohibited in cities, towns and in urban areas notified by State Government”.

And, under criterion (vii), the stipulation is, “waste shall not be burnt”.

How this criterion is raped naked is discernible in the picture already placed above.

But the picture below, which is just a sample of what is happening, would show you how solid waste is littered in every busy lane of the city and allowed to lie like that sine die.

Would you like to know where the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) dumps whatever solid waste it collects?

See the picture below. It is a School premise.

See further.

In every open space between buildings of sophisticated colonies, solid waste is dumped like this by the BMC.

Obnoxious?

Leave the open space and come to the roadside. See the picture below. See how deliberately civil waste is deposited by the BMC on the side of a major road adjacent to the residence of the State Governor.

Who rules over BMC? It is the ruling coalition of Orissa, BJD and BJP. The capital city being the citadel of commission agents nothing else could have been possible specifically as at the time of election to this urban body, Navin Patnaik as Chief Minister had the advantage to use his might in favor of the coalition candidates.

To show how massive is the might of administration, the BMC, supported by the Government in the General Administration (GA) Department and Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), has razed down hundreds of shops including temples alleged to have grown on government lands notwithstanding the facts that these lands have no suitability for any other use than for what they were being used and has smashed thousands of cottages in various slums.

That the slum clearance in certain cases was carried out with a motive to free the land for allocation to mafia under different guise is strongly suspected by the very fact that affected people have recaptured the concerned plots when concerned authorities had been looking at that act of retaliation but were keeping mum lest their hidden design gets fully exposed.

The pictures below would show how the shops have been razed down at different parts of the city.

These shops constituted the life-spring of the localities. The city being a nasty nest of the rich has no concern for the lower middle class and poor people who live here and/or visit this place from out side daily in search of livelihood. The star hotels and emporiums are too sophisticated for them to step in. For them the roadside shops are the only solutions.

If the authorities were sincere in their approach, they should have regularized the shops instead of demolishing them by subjecting them to beautification programs, if any, of the city.

But the purpose seems vitiated by unannounced motives.

Aggressively avaricious persons have golden days during the present days. Givers and takers of bribe know that money shall play the magic if authorities build up kiosks on the roadsides. Demolition of existing shops on the roadsides in the guise of termination of encroachments is therefore being suspected as a facilitator program. If extrication of government land from encroachment would have been the program of the authorities, the encroachment on the most sensitive plot of land in front of the residence of the Governor could not have been ignored.

The following pictures depict just a sample of the cobweb of encroachment that the rich and powerful weave around government plots in the capital city.

The land shown in these pictures is the most valuable land of the locality standing in front of the residence of the Governor. An IAS officer then in service had acquired the prime plot in front of the Governor’s house in a dubious way. This land, marked in a government document as land for a petrol pump, was in the area earmarked for government use. He had used his official influence to convert the land to a private residential plot and he was the only person to build up a private house in the official housing zone. In three sides of this plot, in east, west and north, there were vacant government lands surrounded by roads. He soon encroached upon the eastern side and built up an extended house. A powerful politician has allegedly acquired this land after demise of the retired IAS officer and soon has set his grip over the government land lying vacant in the northern side. The method used to tighten the grip is remarkable. Official staff surrounded the land with iron grills one day and then seedlings were planted to present a picture of official care of the vacant place. As the seedlings grew, the barbed wire fences of the existing house were removed and thus the cobweb of encroachment expanded. The authorities that have cleansed roadside shops and temples in the guise of extricating government lands from encroachment have never bothered to stop encroachment of prime plots by the rich and powerful.

But the way the government as well as the BMC have willfully raped the 2003 Act is indicative only of how badly anti-people a government has grabbed Orissa.

Thousands of milkmen flocking into the capital city with cows and buffalos having made human life very unsafe by putting up cowsheds on encroached government lands in every nook and corner of the city, specifically as a number of police personnel guarding the Assembly in session succumbed to brain malaria as a result of mosquito bite, the cowsheds being the main breeding centers of mosquitoes, the Orissa Legislative Assembly took a prompt but strong decision and enacted the 2003 Act, enforcing therein a blatant ban on cow/buffalo/goat keeping in and around the municipal area of Bhubaneswar.

The Milk Producers Association, Orissa (hereinafter called Gowalas) moved the High Court of Orissa seeking nullification of this Act in their respect, with expressed willingness to shift their sites if regular allocation of land elsewhere in the city is made in their favor for enabling them to continue their trade. The High Court rejected their plea and made it clear that the 2003 Act is just, proper, legitimate and substantive in context of urban management.

In Civil Appeal No. 940 of 2006 the Gowals moved the Supreme Court of India to intervene. The State Government, in response to this Appeal, had stressed on the thrust of this Act where it “prohibits keeping of animals in the premises so as to be nuisance or danger to any persons besides having other stringent conditions with regard to keeping the cows and buffalos within the city limits of Bhubaneswar” to which the Court had fully agreed and rejected the appeal of the milkmen.

Taking the 2003 Act as an Act that “aims at maintenance of health and hygienic condition amongst the residents of the town of Bhubaneswar” the Supreme Court recapitulated its 3-Judge Bench judgment in (2004) 9 SCC 362 where it had observed,

“the power under the Act cannot be treated as a power simplicitor, but it is a power coupled with duty. It is the duty of the State to make sure the fulfillment of conditions or direction under the Act. Without strict compliance, right to environment under Article 21 could not be guaranteed and the purpose of the Act will also be defeated”.

Citing Friends Colony Development Committee v. State of Orissa case, the Supreme Court relied upon its own 2004 decision therein where it had observed,

“Not only filth, stench and unhealthy places have to be eliminated, but the layout helps in achieving family values, youth values, seclusion and clean air to make the locality a better place to live”.

The 2003 Act having bestowed upon the State government a duty to ensure a safe environment free of filth, stench and unhealthy places, the Supreme Court not only appreciated the provisions therein prohibiting cow keeping in the city limits, but also ordered that the Gowalas cannot be allowed to operate even in the periphery of the town.

The Gowalas submitted that the State government had earlier proposed to rehabilitate them in places outside the core sector of the city of Bhubaneswar and so the State should be directed to rehabilitate them in the periphery of the city before eviction.

The Supreme Court also rejected this plea.

“As by reason of the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, within the periphery of the town, dairies or cowsheds cannot be maintained, the State would not be entitled to adhere to its earlier plan of rehabilitating them in the villages mentioned therein”,

it ordered.

Even if they offer to pay for the plots, they cannot be rehabilitated in and around Bhubaneswar City, the Supreme Court decided. It decided,

“only because they are agreeable to pay for the plot which may be allotted to them, that by itself in our considered view would not clothe them with the legal right to be rehabilitated”.

The above decision of the Supreme Court was delivered on 02 February 2006. But till now the Navin Patnaik government has not evicted a single milkman form the Bhubaneswar City.

In every unit and locality of Bhubaneswar the milkmen have encroached upon lucrative vacant plots and have been playing havoc with the lives of the local public.

Now mark the two pictures placed below. They depict the picture of encroachment on a prime plot as large as half an Acre of land in the heart of Unit 6 by a single milkman. The picture taken on 15 Nov. 2004 shows that the milkman had built up two sheds, one for his family and the other for the cows. The picture taken on 19 April 2008 shows how the same milkman has expanded his empire by adding three more cowsheds to his earlier one.

Brilliant scribe Bibhuti Mishra and his equally bright wife Rubi, residing then in the government quarter close to the cowshed, succumbed to acute environmental pollution caused by accumulated cow dung, filth and stench generated by the cowshed.

After we discussed the devastation in these pages, the Government has constructed compound walls around the quarters standing at both the sides of the ever-expanding cowshed as you may see from the following picture.

Why the Government is protecting the milkmen and allowing them to expand their empires to the total impairment of hygienic environment of Bhubaneswar in blatant contravention of the Act it framed and promulgated in 2003, that too in stark disregard to the Supreme Court decision discussed supra?

As we have expressed our inclination to rely on hearsay information, the concerned functionaries of this Government are collecting bribe at the rate of Rs.2000 per cowshed every month and thus, there being 2000 milkmen in Bhubaneswar, there is a 2000 X 2000 = 4,000,000,00 of Rupees illicit income reaped every month by persons who are in positions to halt operation of the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003.

How do you rate this government?

ORISSA SECRETARIAT IN CADRE CRISIS

Simmering under unabated exploitation Orissa Secretariat Staff has come to a boiling point where, unless Chief Minister Navin Patnaik rises to the occasion, the scenario his father had the occasion to endure may emerge with added vengeance. The Staff agitating against continuous exploitation had manhandled his father Biju Patnaik in the Secretariat on 6 May 1993.

The Government has formed a common cadre of Secretariat staff comprising dealing assistants, typists, stenographers, diarists as well as officers of Secretariat Service and has placed it under the control of Home Department. But ever since the cadre was created in 1979, not a single member of the staff has been regularized with permanent status.

On the other hand, around 1200 posts of Assistants and 300 posts of Section Officers are lying vacant in different departments and the existing staff is being compelled to bear extra workload. This is being perceived as sheer exploitation without extra payment.

To add to their chagrin, the Home department has blocked the promotional avenue since two years as a result of which eligible persons are retiring on superannuation without promotion and others are facing stagnation in rank.

The Home department has not reviewed the cadre position since 1981 whereas officers of national as well as provincial civil services are enjoying promotional prospects being dealt with by the General Administration Department that controls those cadres and reviews cadre position from time to time. This recalcitrant treat of Home Department is enraging the members of the common cadres of Secretariat staff.

Home department being engrossed in law and order issue has no time for the cadre. But this cannot be the excuse for negligence of the cadre.

Continuous negligence to job related issues of the Secretariat staff is heightening their despair into resentment. No body knows how explosive it would be when the staff finally decides not to tolerate it any more.

But to avoid any such precipitation, it may help if the common cadres of Secretariat staff get transferred into the fold of GA department where management of higher cadres has already developed a cadre management capability.

The sooner the Chief Minister understands this the better.