Court orders Police to register case against former Judicial Officer

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is not always that a court orders the Police to register a cognizable offence case against a former judicial officer. But retired officer of Orissa Judicial Service C.R.Dash is one such person against whom the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (S), Cuttack, in ICC 1001/13, has ordered the Police to take cognizance and register the FIR within 24 hours, which had been gathering dust in the Cantonment Police Station, Cuttack since 3.12.2012.

Samaja gate 1Servants of the People Society, which has illegally occupied the Samaja by using a forged will of Gopabandhu, has transformed the iconic newspaper of Orissa into a crime center, tormenting loyal employees of the newspaper with false and fabricated cases and has resorted to blatant unfair labor practices to keep the workforce intimidated. Labor officials, under pressure from the Chief Minister have sat mum when the illegal management has been trying to destroy the Trade Union of the employees – the Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association (UNEA).

In one such case against the President of UNEA, the said illegal occupiers of the Samaja had appointed a retired Judicial Officer namely C.R.Dash as domestic enquiry officer and had tactfully dragged in a low-paid Machine Helper namely Surendra Behera into where the same officer was holding enquiry into allegations against the President of the Union, Sri Deviprasanna Nayak, on 3.12. 2012 and had forced to depose in their favor as a management witness.

Dash was appointed the enquiry officer on recommendation of Niranjan Rath, on whose allegation the so-called domestic enquiry had been instituted.

He asked Behera to sign on a written, predated document, which under condition of alarm the poor worker had to comply with. The document was dated 1 .12.2012. Dash did not disclose what it was, but disallowed him to write the date under his signature. On the other hand, he prompted Behera to corroborate the management allegations against Nayak. Behera refused to give any false and prompted deposition. But Dash did not bother. He went on dictating the typist the deposition, which Behera had never made and forced him to sit mum till the dictation was over and to sign the typed sheet, after which only he can leave the enquiry hall. Behera panicked, but kept quiet. As the guard grew little inattentive, he rushed out of the room and went to the Cantonment Police Station and filed FIR against the malicious conduct of the Enquiry Officer. In the FIR he apprehended that he may be forced by the Assistant H.R.Manager to sign the paper that the EO had dictated when he should be reporting on normal duty in the night shift. He wanted protection and action against the EO and the A.H.R.M. for criminal conspiracy and act of intimidation.

The corrupt and pressurized police inspector-in-charge did not register the FIR, despite the poor workman running to the P.S. several times. He had to, finally, knock the door of justice seeking direction to the police to take cognizance of the reported offense.

In taking up the case, the S.D.J.M. (S), Cuttack, has observed in his order dated 14.10.14 that, “The alleged offences are cognizable in nature. Hence, I feel it proper, in the interest of justice, that there will be an investigation by the police with regard to the allegation leveled in the complaint”.

And, as such, he has issued orders U/S 156(3), CrPC to the IIC, Cantonment Police Station “to register the complaint petition within 24 hours of receipt of the order and to report compliance promptly”.

And, consequently on 18.10.2014, Behera’s complaint has been registered as FIR No.83 setting on motion Sections 341/294/506/465/468/469 and 34 of Indian Penal Code.

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Issue of ownership: Samaja newspaper employees seek clarification from SoPS on exposures in ORISSA MATTERS

L.P.Pattanayak

ORISSA MATTERS has exposed how the Servants of the People Society (SoPS) has hijacked Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das’ famous newspaper The Samaja to swindle its fabulous earnings by using a forged Will. It has become clear by the ORISSA MATTERS reports available together at savethesamaja.com that SoPS has no legitimate ownership over the paper.

As the SoPS has never dared to counter the allegation, worried employees of the Samaja through their trade union – Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association – have attracted attention of the Chairman and members as well as the Trustees of SoPS to this exposure in in their letter No. 15/GS/2014 dated 24.3.2014.

Signed by Devi Prasanna Nayak, President and Subash Chandra Singh, General Secretary of the Union, the letter notes, “Even as the members of our Union are extremely worried over the litigations ffecting Servants of the People Society in internal tussles, we are in deep quagmire over the issue of ownership of the Samaja where we are employees.

“We are giving you the link to a website styles savethesamaja.com, wherein, over and above the publications in orissamatters.com depicting serious exposures and raising serious questions on legitimacy of SoPS as owner of the Samaja are being published/ have been published.

“On behalf of the members of our Union, we request you to please peruse the articles in thia website and come out with a clear picture of the ownership over the Samaja, as otherwise employer-employee relationship being in stake, we the workers are in and bound to be in highly injurious predicament”.

SoPS is yet to answer.

Release the Reporter and Arrest the Editor of Samaja with the Gang Immediately: Employees Trade Union

The communal disturbances ignited by the Samaja controllers has shocked the State.

When real culprits are protected by the Police, Jitendra Prasad Das, a very innocent staff reporter purposefully shown as sub-editor, has been thrown into the jail to mislead the public.

Leaders of Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association (UNEA) have demanded for forthwith release of Das and for immediate arrest of Satya Ray, Niranjan Rath, Sushant Mohanty and Suresh Mantry, who in its views, are the real culprits.

We post below their statement:

“Sri Jitendra Prasad Das a working journalist in position of Staff Reporter of the Samaja is made a scapegoat by wrong-doing executive editor, printer/publisher and General Manager (all impostors) of the paper and has been thrown into the central jail at Chaudwar as an undertrial prisoner, for fault, which he has never committed. The wrong-doing fellows that presently control the Samaja are always using workers as scapegoats.

It is sad that the executive editor who should have owned the responsibility for offensive publication to the chagrin of a minority community, has, to save his skin, treacherously handed over Das to the Police. And the police has acted a puppet in arresting and throwing him into custody jeopardizing his right to personal and press freedom, when he is not at all responsible for the controversial posting in the paper.

The crux of the issue is that a photo allegedly of a sacred path-setter for a minority community, downloaded from Internet, was published in the Samaja in its January 14 edition. Finding it offensive, a delegation of the affected minority community had wanted to meet the general manager of the paper, but was denied audience. This irritated the community that took the conduct of the paper as an affront to their religious distinction and eventually ignited a communal passion leading to severe damage of the properties of paper as well as to its credibility. Dignity of Press was totally shattered for which the executive editor as well as the printer/publisher, news coordinator and the man who poses as the general manager are squarely responsible.

If playing havoc on communal peace and harmony and tranquil of the society is an offense, all the above mentioned four functionaries – they are impostors as there is no legal sanction behind their incumbencies- by their very irresponsible conduct, are the offenders and the police should have arrested, if that was so necessary, any or all these four persons. But, instead of doing that, the police has diverted public attention from the culprits to the entirely innocent reporter.

The UNEA strongly condemns the wrong action of police and calls upon the state to drop the case in which Sri Das has been willfully and falsely implicated.

The severe damage done to the property and credibility of the Samaja because of the highly objectionable and irresponsible conduct of the executive editor (sadly, the premiere paper has no editor) and the printer/publisher, is irreparable. UNEA demands strongest possible penal action specifically against them individually and collectively.

The UNEA therefore calls upon the police to withdraw its case against Das and to immediately arrest the gang of four – Satya Ray, Niranjan Rath, Susant Mohanty and Suresh Mantry – known to the police as Executive Editor, Printer/Publisher, Chief News Coordinator and General manager of Samaja respectively, as otherwise, relevant documents and evidences of their crime may be wiped out.

The UNEA further demands that due steps be immediately taken to ensure safety for Das in the jail as there is treat to his life from prisoners belonging to the irritated minority community.

Devi Prasanna Nayak (President),
Subash Ch. Singh (Gen. Secretary)
Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association, Cuttack

Wrongful Police fail to keep judicial wisdom eclipsed; Devi Prasann Nayak, Subash Singh and Brajabhai enlarged on bail

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Police ultimately failed to keep judicial wisdom eclipsed by misuse of powers vested in them and finally, the Additional District Judge, Cuttack has granted bail to Trade Union leaders Devi Prasanna Nayak and Subash Chandra Singh, President and General Secretary respectively of Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association as well as to Brajabhai well recognized as the man who had reformed the premiere daily into rejuvenation. They are implicated in mischievously built up concocted cases, which on hearing are bound to collapse; because the allegations are blatantly wrong and entirely baseless. We are sure; no fabricated case can earn judicial support in the long run.

The Samaja, people’s paper of Orissa, built up with constant flow of people’s patronization being the paper founded by their beloved leader, late Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das, has, behind the back of the people, in the mean time, been transformed into a den of swindlers, manipulators, self-seekers, schemers, exploiters, unfair labor practitioners, womanizers, and pet women who sans qualms can use their muliebrity to malign any gentleman disadvantageous to the men of moral turpitude.

Devi Prasanna Nayak and Subash Singh are determined to save the Samaja from this den. They were therefore in the hit list of the fellows that dwell the den.

On the other hand, Servants of the People Society (SoPS) of which Utkalmani Gopabandhu was the leading light before his premature death has captured the Samaja under the plea of a WILL attributed to him. But a few months ago a document stumbled upon; suspicion is in the rise that the WILL on the basis of which SoPS has occupied the Samaja is not a genuine WILL

This has led to formation of an instrument to save the Samaja which is known as Save the Samaja Forum (SSF).

Even as SSF has been harping on investigation into the reality or not of the WILL, it has come to light in course of investigation by Justice Arijit Pasayat that there is swindling of the Samaja funds to the tune of several crores of rupees as well as instances of grievous moral turpitude. To preempt punitive action, a gang of fellows marked by the Pasayat Committee for offences, has, through a stage-managed election, which a competent judge has observed to be incongruous with the constitution of SoPS, occupied the Samaja and in order to render the investigation report inconsequential, has framed up Sri Nayak and others to create panicky amongst the workers of the news daily so that from headquarters of the paper their reign over SoPS as well will continue without any hurdle.

Cantonment P.S. of Cuttack has obliged this gang so far.

We will focus on this P.S. later, but for now, to us, the happy occasion to mark is, enlargement of Nayak, Singh and Brajabhai on bail. Their appeal for bail was given legal support by the State’s new generation legal luminary, Advocate Bibhu Prasad Tripathy as well as by Advocates Milan Kanungo, Manoranjan Mishra, Devi Prasad Dhal, and Soyed Hidaytulla (Chand babu).

In course of the cases, the complainant had tried to meddle in the matter through its lawyer. But Sri Tripathy had raised a brilliant protest against participation of the complainant through a lawyer in opposing the bail petition. He had cited various case laws to apprise the judge of the soft threads of law over the issue and despite the Samaja occupiers having engaged a top ranking criminal law practitioner to plead for them, that was rejected on elaborate hearing.

Instead of acting the desired sentinel of the people, the Samaja now appears a habitual litigant. People of Orissa do certainly not like to see it in this condition. And, we hope, a day shall soon come, the Samaja will be free from the hoodlums.

We are thankful to judiciary for having given us – the working people of Orissa – a great moment to celebrate the May Day by granting two brilliant trade union leaders – Devi Prasanna Nayak and Subas Chandra Singh and Brajabhai, the man that had brought discernible reforms and rejuvenation to Samaja – the much awaited bail, out of the dark tunnel of manipulation, which the powerful newspaper management in nexus with police black sheep had so cunningly created.

The Samaja tangle: Trade Union leaders framed up in cooked up cases: State a silent spectator!

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The President of Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association and sub-editor of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das’ great gift to Orissa, the Samaja, Sri Devi Prasanna Nayak is in judicial custody since 26 March 2013 apparently as a lady sub-editor namely Mamata Bisoi alleged that he along with others outraged her modesty.

From the order of S.D.J.M. (Sadar), Cuttack, before whom Devi and the co-accused Braja Bhai were produced the same day, it transpires that bail was rejected because Mamata has given a statement to the effect that “getting information, when she went to the spot”, the accused persons “pulled her Saree, caught hold of her, squeezed her breast and assaulted her, for which she sustained severe injuries on her head and her left of body”.

To the Magistrate, “the above facts and gravity of the alleged offence” were such that he was “not inclined to release the accused persons on bail”.

Was she really tortured by Devi and the co-accused as she has stated?

Our investigation convinces us that she has given false statements to misuse the judicial system against the accused persons for reasons yet to manifest.

If pictures can say, they say emphatically that Mamata’s statement is nothing but concocted.

IMG_1055If getting the information she had come to the “spot”, the spot was full of police personnel and members of the Samaja staff. Eye witnesses say, she had come with her brother and another woman.

Let us look at a few other pictures:

IMG_1049

The police was in discussion with Kishore Tripathy, Devi Pr. Nayak, Niranjan Rath, Bhimsen Jadav etc.

IMG_1060

As Devi was in discussion with the police along with others, Mamata was having talks with police and someone known as her brother at the Samaja entrance.

IMG_1066

She was seen giving some instructions to someone whom she says to be her brother.

IMG_1072

At that time, police was discussing with Braja Bhai.

IMG_1081

Soon thereafter, Police wanted Devi and Braja bhai to come with them to the DCP for further discussion on how to solve the Samaja tangle.

IMG_1137

And, then took him and Devi to the DCP where they were declared arrested.

And, where and when, despite their heavy presence, they “pulled her saree, caught hold of her, squeezed her breast, assaulted her thereby causing her head injury and injury on her left, as alleged by her?

We have talked to many persons present on the spot and all of them say that Mamata has given false statements. Devi is a person of good moral character and neither he nor Braja Bhai nor anybody else has misbehaved with her as alleged.

Taking advantage of the lacuna in judicial system that allows magistrates to refuse bail without examining if there is prima facie reason to disbelieve the accusations, the police have picked up the General Secretary of the Association Sri Subash Chandra Singh on April 13 reportedly on the same ground and hounding some other leaders of the trade union too.

The Trade Union that Devi and Subash lead has been fighting against unfair labor practices, which the Samaja management has been perpetrating against the employees in blatant and criminal contravention of the Industrial Standing Orders Act.. There are many such employees who have been regularly working for the paper for decades without being regularized and sans payment in time scale and the Union has raised industrial disputes against such illegalities. Therefore the occupiers of the Samaja want Devi and his team get out of the scope for fighting for the employees and therefore, they have subjected Devi and his friends to cooked up cases. Earlier, they had subjected Devi to a domestic enquiry on concocted charges and had instructed the security personnel not to allow him entry into the Samaja office to keep him absent from enquiry! When thus Devi was debarred from defending himself, Mamata was presented as the management witness and from what she told the enquiry officer, it was clear that she holds either personal grudge against Devi or was eager to oblige prosecutors of Devi by vomiting their versions against him. So, there is reason to believe that her statement to Police and later to a magistrate is prompted and vitiated with motive and antagonism.

If the Government is not irresponsible, it should review the case against Devi and others and correct the wrong done to them by ensuring that false prosecution is not supported by the State.

It is time for the State also to save the Samaja from fraudsters. The fellows that have kept the paper in their capture have swindled crores of rupees from the revenue of the paper as figured even in the report of the Enquiry Committee headed by Justice Arijit Pashayat. The State Government should call for this report and initiate necessary action as fraud is being played upon the people of Orissa – the real financiers of the paper – by the Samaja occupiers. It would be wrong if the State stays a silent spectator.

Employees raise Dispute against under-dose of wages in ‘The Samaja’

The President of Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association, Sri Devi Prasanna Nayak has raised a dispute over under-dose of wages in a mail sent to President of the Servants of the People Society, New Delhi.

He has said,

“Even as the Servants of the People Society has not made us know of the annual gross revenue of The Samaja, from various sources it has come to our knowledge that the gross revenue of the paper exceeds Rs.1000 crores per annum. On this basis, we are entitled to wages applicable to newspapers of class-1 category.
Instead of paying us wages in the scale of Class-1 category papers, you have been paying us in the scale recommended for papers belonging to class-IV category.
Therefore, we demand, our pay scale is immediately raised to that of the newspapers in Class-1 category with retrospective effect as required under the Act.”

Sri Nayak has given the SoPS a week’s time for the purpose.

Samaja Editor served with Damage Notice worth Rs.1 Crore by the Family of Sub-Editor Devi Prasanna Nayak

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is increasingly being clear that the once most popular language daily of Orissa, The Samaja, is in the worst phase of its life. Its editorial conscience is rendered unstable. Massive corruption has crippled its normal functioning. Employees are being subjected to alarming unfair labor practices and acts of intimidations by a gang, the legitimacy of which has been judicially challenged by the officiating President of the Servants of the People Society, which, again, is suspected to have hijacked The Samaja by using a forged Will of its original owner, late Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das.

The gang, whose legitimacy is challenged by the SoPS authority, comprises fellows whose moral turpitude and corruption had come under the radar of Justice Arijit Pasayat Committee of Inquiry, leading to its recommendations for action against them.

This gang has, sans any proven legitimacy, appointed a board of management and has allegedly arbitrarily changed the printer and publisher of the paper and has re-empowered a manager whom the officiating president of SoPS had, on records, divested of his responsibilities and asked to go on long leave.

This gang is playing havoc with jobs of the journalists and non-journalist employees of The Samaja with the apparent intention to keep them intimidated. Transfer and suspension of Sub-Editor Devi Prasanna Nayak is an instance. Sri Nayak , besides being an acclaimed journalist, is the President of the Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association, the recognized and the only one trade union of the Samaja employees and therefore a protected workman under the Industrial disputes Act. Sri Nayak is not being allowed entry into the premises of the paper by the alleged hijackers of The Samaja, as hired musclemen termed security guards are engaged to keep him out of the newspaper campus. Thus the trade union is being strangulated. The trade union has raised a dispute against this malpractice and illegality and the concerned labor office has issued repeated notices to the employer to respond to the allegations. But the gang has kept the labor office notices hidden from the SoPS authority, for which the Opposite Party is conspicuous by its absence in the labor laws implementation forum.

This gang, on the other hand, has tried to damage the reputation of Sri Nayak by misusing the space of The Samaja to feed the public with derogatory information on him. Sri Nayak is a distinguished journalist with an unblemished career and a very promising future. Everybody who knows him deeply knows that he is a totally disciplined person dedicated to his profession and wholeheartedly committed to virtues of journalism. Besides, he belongs to a highly esteemed family, well connected with the society. Spread of derogatory information about him that paints him as an absconding man of misconduct by this gang in the pages of the newspaper, in order only to intimidate the employees whose union he leads, is taken very seriously by his fans, friends as well as his family.

Mrs. Nayak has immediately sent a notice of damage to three persons who carry the orders of this gang in The Samaja. They are, (1) Gopalkrishna Mohapatra, (2) Niranjan Rath and (3) C.R.Das

The Notice says:

Whereas in page 4 of The Samaja dated 31.10.2012 a notice has been published addressed to my husband Sri Devi Prasanna Nayak under a boxed caption ‘NOTICE TO BE PRESENT IN THE DOMESTIC ENQUIRY’;

And whereas in the said notice attempts have been made to denigrate the image of my husband in public eyes;

And whereas the author of this notice, C.R. Dash has no legitimacy to issue such notice in the known environment of disputes over management of Servants of the People Society before the appropriate court of law;

And whereas Sri Niranjan Rath has no legitimacy under the same environment to publish such a piece of character assassination of my husband;

And whereas Sri Gopal Krushna Mohapatra is responsible for anything published in Samaja as its editor;

Now, therefore, I issue this notice, that you all three must publicly apologize to my husband and to my family for having played such mischief against the reputation of my husband as well as my family within a week of issuance of this notice in the same paper, at the same place, in the same format, failing which I will sue you three individually and collectively for a damage worth at least a Crore of Rupees against each in the appropriate court, over and above any prosecution deemed proper against the crime involved.

This notice has been issued on November 1, 2012.

It was never expected that Utkalmani’s noble spirit shall get killed in the premises of the paper he founded. But this is now the shocking reality.

The media persons of the State are silently but keenly keeping a watch.