Conflict between two activists indicates to what extent Orissa is worried over limping steps on Chit Fund

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Money saving avenues are available in plenty from postal to public sector banks in every nook and corner of Orissa. Deposits in these saving banks not only fetch higher income through interest, but also help the Government with funds for welfare of the people. But, allegedly 40,000,00 persons of Orissa, who had some money to save, did not prefer the saving banks in the public sector and, for more profit, they designed to keep the State in dark about their investable funds. They, because of their avarice, run after “profit” instead of “interest”.

Avarice led them to wedlock with the crooks who have such an empire that the Supreme Court having ordered for CBI investigation into the offense, has not thought it proper to allow the investigating agency to act as it likes, because, perhaps it has felt that, unless constantly monitored, the highest national wing of investigation might be swayed away by the force of money the crooks command and the political patronage they enjoy in Orissa, the State of idiots where compradors rule.

The people of Orissa, as a whole, are not involved with this unethical, opportunistic partnering of avaricious investors with the black money empires and, therefore, in no way the State Exchequer should be forced to cough up money for the said investors; as, had they not been cheated, they would not have shared their “profits” with the public.

The only public concern of Orissa is, therefore, not recovery of money from the swindlers, but punishment against the swindlers for their criminal conducts. Whosoever conducts a crime must be punished, says the Laws of this land that has defined the crimes and prescribed the punishments.

Indian criminals are mostly unpunished, not only because the investigators do have secret agents of the criminals in their midst, but also because, the criminals have their patrons and protectors in the judiciary.

Against this backdrop, it is good that the apex court of India has taken onto itself the burden of monitoring the chit fund investigation by the CBI. In this, the court has also taken a risk.

The chit fund swindlers are known to the people thanks to media with marked mania to claim credit for exposing any crime committed under the nose of administration.

There are agents of the crooks in media also. Owners of media organizations and senior working journalists dragged by CBI into investigation chamber and thrown into jails as under trial prisoners makes the point clear.

Yet, it is media in general that has refused to side with the crooks and has exposed the felony of the chit fund operators and has made the general public aware of the ongoing offenses. Resultantly, social media has fabulous information on what is happening in the chit fund matter.

So, principled media and social media are keeping alert eyes on the role of CBI as well as the Supreme Court in matters of chit fund. Slowly but steadily this is making people conscious of how powers that be play havoc with their collective life by creating a climate of crimes.

Right to Information has emerged as a great weapon in hands of the people and RTI activists are making their contributions to mass awakening in this particular matter more conspicuous, as their watchful eyes continue to study the role of CBI vis-a-vis the Supreme Court.

And, as I watch, this watching upon the proceedings of the chit fund inquiry has become such an obsession with RTI activists that one of them, Jayanta Das has severely reprimanded his admired friend Alok Jena in social media – facebook.com – for rejection of an IA of Jena in the Supreme Court recently, though he knows that Jena had to take the risk of pleading his case himself in the Court against an array of astute advocates engaged by the crooks and their associates.

Das admits that Jena has been fighting the case with funds generated by mortgaging even his wife’s jewelries. Yet, when he failed to engage a lawyer, basically because of lack of funds and resultantly failed to convince the Court due to lack of personal expertise in tackling the tricks of law, the RTI activist has not hesitated to subject him to scathing criticism. This is nothing but a facet of people’s restlessness to see the crooks punished.

When an outstanding ally of Jena like Das resorts to heartless censoring of his friend over his failure to generate a favorable order on an IA petition, It suggests very strongly that the people are uncompromisingly serious in the matter of chit fund investigation and equally restless to see the crooks punished.

Here the image of the Supreme Court is at risk. People are conscious that top judicial functionaries like Justice Laxmikant Mohapatra are not yet dragged into investigation even though their link with chit fund operators is discernible. People are aware of the fact that Orissa High Court has already helped a ruling party MP save his status by allowing him to join the Parliament for a day before last limit of 60 days of absence in the House expires in his case, he being an under-trial prisoner. People are conscious that Orissa High Court has helped former Advocate General of the State escape the CBI Court hock by bagging a bail order under unprecedented judicial shenanigans the like of which had never reached people’s eyes in this State. People are shocked to see MLA Pravat Tripathy getting enlarged on bail by the High Court. All these have happened when the CBI investigation into chit fund felonies is going on under Supreme Court direction and monitoring.

The entire matter of chit fund felonies and CBI investigation thereon is a matter that rests with the Supreme Court and hence, the High Court should have refused to intervene in the cases aforesaid.

As CBI has the history of being misled by powers that be and as Indian Judiciary has history of rendering important cases inconsequential, the people are naturally worried over delays in determining and punishing the crooks that have criminally cheated about 40,000,00 people of Orissa.

The Supreme Court should review all the bails granted by the High Court and all the inactions the CBI is marked for in matter of investigations into the chit fund cheating.

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Why Bail? Are not bails lingering litigations? Supreme Court should issue a Whitepaper

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Orissa High Court has enlarged suspended BJD legislator Pravat Kumar Tripathy on bail. He has been released from the jail to extravaganza of a reception by his sycophants, posing as if the appropriate Court was wrong in remanding him to jail. Tripathy was arrested by the CBI on 31 October 2014 on charges of involvement with chit fund Artha Tattva. His bail application was opposed by the CBI on the ground that, once enlarged on bail, he being a political heavyweight, the witnesses may be influenced and evidences may be tampered. But, bail was granted by the Orissa High Court. It has given birth to speculations that the bail granted to him may open up the gates to freedom of other politicians presently in the jail under chit fund related charges.

Every offense in India is bailable. The word “non-bailable” does not extinguish the provision of bail. It means, if the offense is non-bailable only higher echelon of judiciary can grant the bail. So, there is no wrong in granting the bail to Tripathy by the High Court.

But, can the High Court obstruct any cleaver and clandestine attempts to tackle the witnesses or evidences? Has anywhere at any time the judiciary has acted a secret police to catch and thwart any act in action to tamper with the evidences by the accused released on bail?

On the other hand, bails are helping the culprits linger the litigations everywhere. And, in many cases, it is seen that the under trial offenders on bail are getting acquittals ultimately. Whether or not the freedom given to them through bails foils the prosecution is never studied.

It is time, the Supreme Court of India should publish a Whitepaper on bails so that the people can know how bails affect the litigation time and can study the final verdicts in matters of culprits enlarged on bail.
Judicial discretion in matter of bail should not be factors to foil prosecution.

Chit Fund Felony: Artha Tattwa Facilitator Rewarded with Promotion and Posting of Choice

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Who is the Godfather of Smt. Gayatri Patnaik, now Deputy Registrar of Cooperative Societies-cum-MD, Orissa State Cooperative Handicrafts Corporation Ltd, is a must for the CBI to find out, as otherwise root of the felony may not be reached at.

Smt. Patnaik was Assistant Registrar of Cooperative Societies when all administrative norms and practices were contravened by her in registering the cooperative gimmick of Pradeep Sethy – the Artha Tattwa Multipurpose Co-op. Society Ltd on 3 November 2010, within 3 days of receipt of his application.

She has been rewarded with promotions and postings of her choice, keeping inconsequential the departmental proceeding instituted against her for serious offenses located through an inquiry.

Government of Orissa in the department of Cooperation had asked B.B.Mishra, DD (Statistics), Office of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Orissa, vide Letter No. 1026 dt.27 January 2011, to inquire into allegations leveled against her by leading members of Capital Coop. Housing Society Ltd.

The Inquiry Officer found that, Ms. Patnaik had captured the said Society’s CEO post by herself, “by utilizing one administrative order of the Govt. having no relevance to any authority under OCS Act and Rule 1962 and 1965 respectively”.

While holding this self-acquisition of the post of CEO absolutely illegal, the IO observed that “Smt Gayatri Patnaik should have waited for formal acceptance of her joining report by the management of the Cooperative Society before starting work including handling of cash and assets of the Society”.

Holding that, “A person acting as chief executive of the cooperative society without express permission of the management amounts to impersonation and her action can be very well termed as trespassing”, the IO declared, “all action done by Smt. Gayatri Patnaik are ultra vires in law unless until approved by the management of the Capital Housing Ltd”.

She was found to have transferred the Society’s funds to another organization “surreptitiously” allowing the chief executive thereof to operate it. This is “quite illegal and breach of trust” and “provision of the by-law (of the Society) has been seriously flouted by Smt. G. Patnaik in this case”, the IO has reported.

The report is full of adverse remarks on Smt. Patnaik. It was submitted on 2 November 2011.

It gathered dust in the Government for about one and half years. On 10 April 2013, vide order No. 3034/Coop, the Commissioner-cum-Secretary to the Government in the department of Cooperation, suspended her “with immediate effect” for “acts of omission and commissions during her incumbency as ARCS, Bhubaneswar”.

But the charges against her were suppressed and under signature of an Undersecretary, in the name of the Governor, which is a normal practice, she was “reinstated in Government service” on 23 September 2013 under Notification No. 7814/Coop.

On reinstatement, she was placed under the department of Hand-looms, Textiles and Handicrafts “for posting as DRCS (Industries) in the Directorate of Handicrafts”.

After she was thus rewarded with reinstatement and placed in a very comfortable post, as a matter of formality, she was served with a charge sheet on 30 October 2013. That charge sheet is not yet acted upon and she has been given extra lucrative assignment as MD of Orissa State Cooperative Handicrafts Corporation Ltd (Utkalika).

Had she not been in alliance with Pradeep Sethy in registering the Artha Tattwa Multipurpose Co-op. Society Ltd in total disregard to departmental norms in 2010, she would have faced prosecution for the serious offenses enumerated in the Inquiry Report and memorandum of charges the Government had asked her to meet.

Who is her godfather in the Government that has kept the disciplinary proceeding instituted against her inconsequential till date should be found out by CBI that has been investigating into Artha Tattwa’s chit fund felony.

It is worth mention that the General Secretary of All Orissa Primary Handicrafts Co-op. Societies Presidents and Artisans Association, in a letter to the Chief Minister written on 19 October 2014, has raised severe allegations against Smt. Gayatri Patnaik .

But, there is no action on the same as yet.

The mystery of CM’s silence on the Association’s letter is intriguing.

The Assembly Imbroglio: Loser is the Chief Minister

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Despite fabulous majority – 117 members in a 147 seater Assembly – Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik looks like a pathetic loser, as a mere 30 member strong multi-party Opposition has put him on the mat where he does not dare to open his mouth.

At the crux of this imbroglio lies the chit fund felony.

Significantly, the Opposition is not holding the Cabinet, as a whole, responsible for this, whereas it has unambiguously pointed out at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who seems to have acted God Father to at least one of the crooks – Prasant Dash of SeaShore.

It should have been proper for Naveen to explain his position; because he is not an individual alone, but a Chief Minister.

It is not becoming of a Chief Minister to use silence as the best method of defense.

On the 14th day of its commencement, Orissa Assembly collapsed again to adjournment till 3 PM today after less than a minute of beginning of the Question Hour.

At par with our views, the daily Sanchar, founded and guided by the most astute member of Naveen’s cabinet Dr. Damodar Raut, also has opined that, the Chief Minister shouldn’t shy at the Opposition in the chit fund matter and rather should put forth with honesty the details of the scam as has come out in course of investigation, so that denigration of the image of the Government in the eyes of the people may stop.

But, instead of correcting himself, the Chief Minister has taken refuge in the ruling of the Speaker that the chit fund matter being sub judice, cannot be subjected to debates of the House.

This plea is abysmally poor.

From what the Opposition is stressing upon, it is clear that, it wants accounts of the Chief Minister on his suspected link with chit fund crooks. The Chief Minister’s link with chit fund crooks is never before any court of law. So, it is not acceptable that the matter is sub judice. It would fit better to legislative magnanimity if the Speaker recalls his ruling and allows debates on chit fund felony without any prejudice to matters before the court. Assembly secretariat should be used to apprise the members of what exactly is su judice. Beyond that, free debate on chit fund should be allowed.

In the matter of Asok Mohanty, CBI owes an explanation; and the Supreme Court too

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A person’s right not to be victimized by law is of utmost importance; and more important than even the Supreme Court.

It is the matter of immense solace for people of Orissa that the Supreme Court has ordered for and monitoring the CBI inquiry into chit fund felonies that have played havoc with lives of lakhs of our people. So, if CBI creates an environment where viewable discrepancies whip up doubts in public mind on impartiality of investigation, not only the CBI should owe explanations, but also the Supreme Court, on ground of why more questionable persons are left untouched when persons in accidental connection with an offense are thrown into rigors of law.

This site was the first to have posted the breaking analysis on a property transaction between a High Court Judge – Justice Laxmikant Mohapatra and a Chit fund offender – Pradeep Sethy. Core information for the analysis was picked up from input supplied by RTI activist Jayant Kumar Das, whose search for allocation of CDA plots from discretionary quota had revealed how Justice Mahapatra had bagged such a plot by cheating the CDA and had subsequently handed the plot over to a  chit fund mafia.

The judge had used the High Court letterhead to bag a monumental plot for residential purpose and before getting the lease deed executed in his favor, had de facto handed the same over to the chit fund cheat behind back of the CDA, while asking the CDA to allow the transfer, as he had, by then, already received Rs. 1 crore from Sethy in full satisfaction of the negotiated cost thereof, which was more than ten times of the amount he had paid to the CDA while accepting the plot.  He had told the CDA that the “negotiation” with Sethy over the plot “was because of my legal necessity”.

Interpreting the sequences, it was my firm fear that Justice Mohapatra had acted a conduit for Sethy in getting for him this major plot, which the later could never have got from CDA; and, therefore, I had stressed upon a judicial inquiry to find out why the “negotiation” with Sethy was Justice Mohapatra’s “legal necessity”. This may be perused at:

Judicial Enquiry Essential to determine if Justice Laxmikanta Mohapatra did not act a conduit for a Chit Fund Mafia

The discernible conduct of Justice Mohapatra not being becoming of a judge, Sethy appeared to me like a man who can make the judges dance.

As I looked deep into the matter, I found, despite having taken the plot de facto to his possession behind back of the CDA, and despite having transferred the same to his name from the name of Justice Mohapatra before the lease deed was executed; Sethy did not press on execution of the lease deed in his favor also, which legally and normally he should have done.

At this stage, Advocate General Asok Mohanty, as he then was, emerged on the scene. He took over the plot from Sethy at a cost of Rs.1.01 crore, even though the lease deed was not executed in his name.

Much ahead of CBI taking up investigation into this matter, in my breaking animadversion on the particular issue, I had noted, “A sitting Chief Justice of a High Court and an Advocate General of a State Government forming the triangle with a chit fund mafia over the plot in question, an enquiry by the Supreme Court of India into this scandal seems essential to cleanse the judicial system of misusers of their privileged positions. And, the sooner it is done, the better.”

It is good that under orders of the Supreme Court, the CBI has taken up the investigation. It has arrested Mr. Mphanty, interrogated him repeatedly even by taking him on remand from the court and has got him surrender his passport.

The CBI’s action so far,  as observed, does not suggest that he has been booked for any of his role as Advocate General of the State vis-à-vis the chit fund offense.

The CBI has taken him to task, as far as known so far, for his role as a purchaser of a house standing over the plot, which Sethy had purchased from Justice Mohapatra.

As we have noted from CBI version, there is discrepancy in the statement of Mr. Mohanty on payment of the cost of the building to Sethy. Even if one buys that, is purchasing a house against an amount of money which is not substantiated by bank accounts a crime for which the purchaser’s right, as a citizen, not to be victimized by law can be ignored?

I have not only posted the breaking discussion on this subject in these pages, but also have repeated my remarks, wherein Mr. Mohanty has been shown a vertex in the triangle of scandal drawn on the discussed plot.

But my question is: Why Justice Mohapatra’s role is not being investigated into? Is Mr. Mohanty being deliberately subjected to CBI action so that Justice Mohapatra may stay away from screening eyes of the public?

CBI owes an explanation on this issue and so also the Supreme Court, because, Justice Mohapatra, who is basically involved with Sethy in this matter, has not yet been subjected to investigation.

Chit Fund Felony: Enquiries should begin with Investigation into Role of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

“Huge amounts are raised at the time of elections from big mine-owners and other rich businessmen for which no detailed accounts are kept. The persons, who raise such contributions on behalf of the party, distribute amounts to different candidates and keep a portion of the funds raised for their own institutions or their own factions and also appropriate a portion for their own selves. …………… As the businessmen have to pay taxes, they do not show these amounts to the Income Tax department. ………………….. The top experienced leaders of the party indicate the manner in which the big businessmen are to be compensated by making profits in other ways in return for the big amounts they pay as contributions to the Election Funds and other party expenses.”

This is what late Nabakrushna Chowdhury, Orissa’s legendary freedom fighter and a true Gandhian to ever have become a Chief Minister, had told the public at Balasore on July 14, 1963 when the State was in the grip of Biju Patnaik.

Biju, who had occupied the Chief Minister post by corrupting the people with money and false promises like ‘Fire-proof roof over every head’, had to get out of power most unceremoniously, as Mr. Chowdhury’s frank public allegation had led to unprecedented public protests against his continuance as Chief Minister.

To people of Orissa it appeared that Biju Patnaik and probity in political life were poles apart.

Under insurmountable force of public outcry, specifically after Orissa’s then Leader of Opposition R. N. Singhdeo submitted a well documented memorandum demanding an investigation into acts of corruption committed by Biju Patnaik in the chief minister chair, the Central Government had asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the said allegations.

The CBI had submitted its report on 15 November 1964 with the conclusion that, “It is not possible to say that all the allegations are unfounded, unsubstantiated or untrue”.

These words of the CBI Director makes it clear that there was pressure, obviously from the Prime Minister (as the investigation was ordered by Home Minister Guljarilal Nanda known as a crusader against corruption) to say that the allegations against Biju were “unfounded, unsubstantiated, and untrue”; for which alone, the CBI had to use the words “it is not possible to say” so. It was clear that Biju had misused his position as Chief Minister for personal benefit.

The same syndrome of misusing position to grab money is also conspicuous in conduct of his son Naveen, who, as chief Minister, has made the administration so corrupt that the CBI, after long 50 years of its first penetration into Orissa affairs, is again in the job of investigation into offenses against the people in Orissa.

Its foray into castles of only one segment of offenders – the chit fund cheats – provokes this posting.

We were suspecting that the offenders might be the front men of someone who controls administration, as otherwise, this monstrous offense could not have continued with such sense of security the offenders are marked to have having.

Senior minister Dr. Damodar Raut has made us convinced that, none but the Chief Minister himself could be that man.

Dr. Raut is the first minister to have come out with unambiguous information that chit fund fraud Prasant Das of Sea Shore was enjoying government patronization so much so that eleven government hospitals were put under his charge for commercial exploitation, without the knowledge of the Health Minister. Unless Chief Minister is involved, bypassing the concerned minister, who under Rules of Business, is the Head of the Department, is not possible, under any plea.

The way the Chief Minister and his fellow ministers have bestowed upon Das their favors even after being warned by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs about economic offences being practiced by Sea Shore, makes us infer that like his father, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is also using his position to collect illicit money and fetch a profit out of politics.

In 1960s Biju was having nexus with big mine-owners and big businessmen, as per former CM Nabakrushna Chowdhury, to collect fund for investment in elections and for filling up personal coffers. The same method of having nexus with economic offenders, mines-owners, chit fund cheats is marked in Naveen’s regime too.

He has given grazing grounds to Chit Fund cheats, obviously for funds for winning elections.

We are increasingly inclined to suspect that Pradeep Sethy or Prasant Das and the likes are nothing but front men of Naveen, because of which the administration has eagerly and without objection, kept eyes closed to their felonies.

So the CBI enquiry, instead of beating about the bushes, should zoom in on Naveen Patnaik to find out wherefrom he gathers the hundreds of crores of Rupees he invests in running of his party specifically in electioneering, as money is the only power that fetches for him majority in the Assembly and the greater the amounts spent in electioneering the larger the number of seats he wins for his party.

Mahtab mustn’t be allowed to demoralize the CBI and to eclipse Judicial mind

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak Cuttack MP, Bhartruhari Mahtab belongs to BJD, the party of sycophants, known loudmouths of which are now in fidgets over chit fund cheating. To them the CBI enquiry portends incurable political debacle.

When alter ego of the BJD government – Advocate General Asok Mohanty, incumbent till summoned by CBI in chit fund scam matter – is in jail custody pending trial due to location of his dubious deal with Chit Fund fraudster Pradeep Sethy, it is Mahtab who has used TV channels to instigate the people against Mohanty’s arrest.

He claims that Mohanty is too honest to be investigated into, according to his personal knowledge about Mohanty. His personal knowledge has no legal standing.

If he appears before the concerned court as a ‘defense-witness’ in support of Mohanty, his assertion may be tested through cross-examination and consequent court verdict.

But when Mohanty is in court custody and the court has taken cognizance of his offense, and his remand to CBI having come to the verge of end he is either to be granted bail or sent to the jail, a ruling party MP declaring that Mohanty is honest and the CBI should not have arrested him, is nothing but ruling party’s attempt to demoralize the CBI and to eclipse free and fair application of judicial mind and therefore, contrived to influence the CBI judge.

Mahtab should immediately be taken to task for this mischief,