Daily Samaj in hands of Devils: Sub-Editor’s Signature Forged to Derail Labor Adjudication; High Court Used to Keep Him Starved

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

I am shocked to see that the Orissa High Court is used by illegal occupiers of the daily Samaj to keep a working journalist starved, even though the competent Labor Court had awarded him the relief of reinstatement with full back wages and the High Court had also ruled that the award was proper and justified.

The matter may be viewed as a classic instance of abortion of rule of law in the citadel of law, when lawyers fail to apprise the Court of the real position of law on one part, and on the other, pursue a design to hoodwink the court with misleading legal jargons and junks.

It would be helpful to have the minimum introduction on the case of the concerned journalist – Sub-Editor-cum-Reporter of the Samaj – Pitamber Mishra, now about 75 years.

Here below is a chronology-
1. He was subjected to constant unfair labor practice since 1986;
2. He was summarily dismissed as he wanted legitimate wages in 1997;
3. Two backdated documents were manufactured, one an agreement with his forged signature to derail his dispute in the Labor Court when the State Government sent his case for adjudication in 1998;
4. He challenged the manufactured agreement and was made to cough up a heavy sum of money for examination of his signature on the same;
5. The ‘Examiner of Questioned Documents’ in the Handwriting Bureau, Crime Branch, Orissa was asked by the Labor Court to examine the disputed signature vide letter No. 1615/LC stated 25.9.2010;
6. The Examiner opined that the disputed signature was not the signature of Pitambar Mishra;
7. Thus the forgery committed by the management established, the Labor Court declared the dismissal illegal and unjustified and warded the relief of reinstatement in service with full back wages with effect from the date of dismissal; but compounded his dues in terms of money in lieu of reinstatement with full back wages as he had crossed the superannuating age during pendency of the case on 21,2,2013;
8. The management challenged the award in the Orissa High Court in a Writ Petition, which was rejected on hearing on 30.4.2014 with the conclusion that the Labor Court award was proper and justified;
9. Instead of implementing the Labor Court award as improved by the High Court, the management has used the High Court to keep the journalist in starvation taking advantage of Law that provides for a Writ Appeal and the suffering journalist’s inability to wake up the judicial conscience.

The poor man is now 75 and is under slow starvation as the High Court has allowed the management the luxury of misusing the forums of law to torture the workman.

Heritage of Crime

Orissa’s iconic newspaper -The Samaja – co-founded by Utkalmani Pt. Gopabandhu Das, is being published under illegitimate ownership, as proved in these pages.

Radhanath Rath – a low paid servant of Gopabandhu, who could bag a Padmabhusan over and above legislative and ministerial berths as well as Lingaraj Mishra, a, “easygoing” protege of Gopabandhu, who could also occupy ministerial positions due to the media power of the Samaja, had tampered with and finally forged a will of Gopabandhu to hijack the newspaper, which has already been shown in these pages with relevant documents.

But the conduct of crime seen in these two fellows did not end in their death in the context of the newspaper. It seems, they have handed over a heritage of crime to their successors in the Samaja.

In these pages I have shown how the funds of the paper are being looted through forged documents. Now I will show, how Radhanath Rath’s daughter Ms. Manorama Mahapatra, a retired higher education teacher, who succeeded her father as Associate Editor – cum – Member (administration) of the establishment, forged the signature of the above mentioned sub-editor-cum-news reporter to deny him his legitimate position and salaries.

Calculated Exploitation

The Samaja was in need of a sub-editor and the management recruited Pitambar Mishra for the post in 1986.

But, he was neither given written order of appointment nor due salary.

Accounts section of the Samaja paid him only Rs.250/- at the end of the month and advised him to stay content with this amount till regularization of his appointment or enhancement of the amount of ad hoc pay, whichever would be earlier.

Formal appointment letter would be issued to him when he earns a regular status, he was told.

He was made to understand that Radhanath Rath was the SARBESARBA (all-in-one) in the Samaja system and he must not dare to irritate him with any demand for appointment letter and salary in time scale.

When Rath will be satisfied with his work, everything would be normal and there shall be regular appointment with salary as per Wage Board, he was told.

The Samaja being the highest circulated daily of the State and, as Rath, equipped with media power, was making the government dance to his tune, Pitamber could not dare to do anything but acquiescing into the situation with a hope for regularization of his employment, as to him, such a ‘big personality’ like Rath could not be an exploiter.

But, Rath was an exploiter in real sense. He asked him to report Cuttack City along with his desk job without any hike in the ad hoc pay even, in a way of calculated exploitation.

Footprints of Exploitation

After rendering service for five years in both the field and desk sectors, Pitambar submitted a representation to management in 1989 for confirmation either in the post of Sub-Editor or in the post of Reporter with regular salary. The management ignored his representation for around two years and simply increased the amount of his ad hoc pay to Rs.600/- per month in 1991. He insisted that he should be regularized in service with salary as per Wage Board.

His representation was finally placed before the executive body of Servants of the People Society, which has illegally occupied the paper, on 22.3.1994. The minutes of that meeting records, “The Executive Secretary gave applications of Upendra, retired from Advertisement Section, P.C.Sarkar, Correspondent and Pitamber Mishra, Sub-Editor for comments”. It made it clear that Mishra was mainly the Sub-Editor. But, instead of confirming him, the management only enhanced his ad hoc salary to Rs.780/- in 1994. His representation for confirmation continued to be ignored.

Dispute before Labor Authorites

Severely injured both professionally and financially, as the management was not paying any heed to his grievances, Pitamber moved the labor law implementation machinery for intervention. The District Labor Officer, Cuttack, issued notice to the management on 25.8.1997 asking for their views on Sri Mishra’s demand for regularization of employment with retrospective effect along with all consequential benefits.

Illegal Termination

Mishra’s dispute before the labor authorities enraged the management to such ferocity that they terminated his service immediately on receiving the labor officer’s notice. In the history of the Samaja under illegal occupiers, no employee has ever been tolerated after raising a dispute before the labor authorities against harassment. So, Mishra was prevented from entering into the campus of the Samaja on 7,9,1997 with the gate keeper informing him that his services had been terminated. As he wanted the termination order, the general manager came to the gate and told him that his services were no more required. Pitambar’s request for the written order, if any, to that effect, was also turned down orally by the GM.

The affected workman moved the DLO for intervention and then,legally, his pending dispute for confirmation in service metamorphosed to an Industrial Dispute over illegal termination.

Reference to Labor Court

The Samaja management remained recalcitrant and the case landed in the Labor Court vide Order No.15552/LE dated 31.12.1998 of the State Government with the following term of reference:
“Whether the termination of services of Sri Pitambar Mishra Sub-Editor/News Reporter by the management of “The Samaj” with effect from 7.9.97 is legal and/or justified? If not, to what relief Sri Mishra is entitled?”

Manufactured agreement
with forged Signature

When the Labor Court registered the Industrial Dispute and initiated adjudication, the management of Samaja challenged the maintainability thereof by producing an agreement to show that there was no employer-employee relationship between it and Sri Mishra. The harassed journalist, to his horror found that not only the agreement was manufactured to suit the nefarious motive of the management, but also the signature purported to be his on the body of the manufactured agreement was also manufactured. He vehemently objected to depiction of a forged signature as his on the forged agreement. The management claimed that signature of the workman was genuine.

Instead of asking the management to establish genuineness of the signature disowned by the workman, the Labor Court asked the abysmally low-paid workman to deposit a very heavy amount of money as cost of handwriting examination, which was bend the capacity of the workman to arrange. As he failed to attend the Court with the money he was asked to deposit, the said court answered the reference in favor of the management, in the line the management had wanted.

The blatantly disadvantaged journalist moved the High Court of Orissa seeking quashing of the rash order of the Labor court. The High Court quashed the order and directed the Labor Court Presiding Officer to recall his order and to send the disputed signature of Mishra along with his specimen signatures to the State Handwriting Bureau for opinion of the handwriting examiner on genuineness or not of the signature on the questioned agreement.

Accordingly the award was recalled by the Labor Court. The poor workman coughed up the heavy amount of cost of signature examination. The Judge of the Labor Court collected his specimen signatures in presence of the lawyer of the management and sent the same with the disputed signature to the Examiner of Disputed Documents, CID,CB,HWB, Orissa, for examination. The handwriting expert found that the signature on the agreement paper was at all of Pitamber Mishra. His report was submitted by the S.P., CID, CB, HWB under cover of letter No. DP 26-19/530/HWB dt. 25.6.2011.

As the signature of Sri Mishra on the agreement filed by management was found to be forged, the agreement was rejected by the Labor Court and employer-employee relationship was established and termination of his services was determined to be illegal and unjustified in the award of the Labor Court.

Award of the Labor Court

The Labor Court, in its award dated 21.3.2013, answered the questions raised under the reference in the the following term: “That the termination of services of Sri Pitambar Mishra, Sub-Editor/News Reporter by the management “The Samaj” with effect from 7.9.97 is neither legal or justified”.

“Regarding the relief is concerned”, the Labor Court said, “the workman has examined himself as W.W.1 on 4.6.2001 and in his evidence, he has deposed that his age is 58 years. So considering the above version and admission of the workman, he is now about 70 years old. Therefore, it is not wise to direct the management for reinstatement of the workman in service. But at the same time, the workman had rendered service under the management for about 11 years and in the meantime, the case is lingering from the year 1999, i.e. for about 14 years. So considering the age, status and his tenure in duties, I am of the considered view that instead of giving direction for reinstatement in service with back wages, a lump sum amount of Rs.2,50,ooo/- as compensation will meet the end of justice in the facts and circumstances of this case”.

Thus saying, the Labor Court ordered that “The workman is entitled to get a lump sum amount of Rs.2,50,000/- only as compensation in lieu of reinstatement in service with back wages. The management is directed to implement this Award within a period of two months from the date of its publication, failing, the amount shall carry interest at the rate of 10% (ten per cent) per annum till its realization”.

Thus this is a clear, unambiguous and emphatic Award of reinstatement in service with full back wages.

High Court did not see Sec 17B of I.D.Act

The illegal occupiers of the Samaja preferred a Writ Petition in the Orissa High Court against this Award.

The Writ Petition should have been rejected, had the High Court looked at Section 17 B of the Industrial Disputes Act.

I quote Sec.17 B, captioned as, “Payment of full wages to workman pending proceedings in higher Courts” where it is written, “Where in any case, a Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal by its award directs reinstatement of any workman and the employer prefers any proceedings against such award in a High Court or the Supreme Court, the employer shall be to pay such workman , during the period of pendency of such proceedings in the High Court or the Supreme Court , full wages last drawn by him , inclusive of any maintenance allowance admissible to him under any rule, if the workman had not been employed in any establishment during such period and an affidavit by such workman had been filed to that effect in such Court”.

When the Writ Petition was filed against the Award of the Labor Court and the Labor Court had given the Award of reinstatement with full back wages, commuting the same to Rs.2,50,000/- in lieu thereof in view of the journalist having crossed the superannuation age in course of the case pending before it for long 14 years, it should have been proper for the High Court to refuse to entertain the management’s case in absence of proof of payment of the entire amount awarded by the Labor Court, specifically as it was clear that the 70+ old man was neither fit for work nor permissible to work anywhere. Yet, the Court reduced the commuted amount of the workman’s back wages by Rs.30,000/- to Rs.2,20,000/-, though the Judge was clear in saying, “On consideration of the materials on record, I am of the view that there is no infirmity in the findings of the the Presiding Officer, Labor Court that the termination of the workman was neither legal nor justified”.

Despite this verdict of the High Court, the recalcitrant management of the newspaper has not yet paid the dues of the Sub-Editor. It has challenged the verdict in a Writ Appeal, on the ground that signature of the workman on the body of his ‘Statement of Claim’ was not sent to the handwriting expert along with his admitted signatures.

The disputed signature has been proved as a forged signature through examination by the handwriting expert on being referred to by the Labor Court. The Examiner has tallied the same with admitted old signatures as well as with specimen signatures collected by the judge of the Labor Court in presence of the legal representative of the management. The Examiner has also deposed and been cross examined in the court as C.W.1 and the details of the examination with 13 sheets of documents, 17 sheets of photo enlargement, Negative containing 17 exposures and two sheets of statement of reason along with the scientific opinion have been examined by the managements in the Labor court without finding any defect therein. Against this backdrop, the High Court had rejected the W.P. (C) No.4540 of 2012 instituted by the management for orders to send Statement of claim of the workman along with other documents again to the handwriting expert. “The Court does not find any irregularity or illegality in the impugned order passed by the Labor court”, the High Court has said.

Fresh Attempt to Kill the Spirit of the I.D.Act

So, the Writ Appeal – WA No.201 of 2014 – filed by the management against the above High Court order is nothing but a nasty attempt to keep the tortured journalist denied of his dues.

Sri Mishra is more than 72 years.

His legitimate dues should not be denied to him in guise of the Writ Appeal.

Had the Court paid attention to Sec.17 B of the I.D.Act, the above said writ case could not have been entertained without payment of the full wages (in this peculiar situation the entire amount awarded by the Labor Court) by the management to him and the present Writ Appeal should also have been rejected because of non- payment of the awarded amount to Mishra under the same section.

The spirit of Sec.17 B of the I.D.Act must not be killed in the High Court under evil design of a management that had no qualms in forging the signature of the workman to deny him his dues.

In my next posting on the Samaja devilry, I will discuss its forgery with relevant documents.

Orissa Assembly Embarrassed by Minister’s Monkey Business

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

On commencement of the winter session today, Orissa Assembly was resigned to ruckus over severe protests of the Opposition members against being cold-shouldered by the speaker in their demand for discussion on chit fund scandal that has affected reportedly no less than a crore of depositors.

After obituary mentions, the only business, which could be transacted in the benumbed day of repeated adjournments that failed to function even for half an hour, was just a presentation of the supplementary budget worth Rs.4502.34 crores for the current fiscal.

But, before that, the the day had to bring in embarrassment for the Assembly, as a minister’s monkey business made a female member cry for protection of her dignity in the floor of the house. The victim is the lone female member of BJP, Ms.Radharani Panda. She alleges that agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy hurled vulgar words at her, when she was raising slogans against the government over the chit fund felony.

On her allegation, the Speaker has held an all-party meeting and his ruling is set to come tomorrow.

But the BJP suspects that the minister has deliberately committed the mischief for diverting the attention of the house from the chit fund scam to issue of dignity of female member.

A Surly Editorial and the Unseen Side of Money to Media

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A surly editorial in minister Damodar Raut’s daily newspaper ‘Sanchar’ makes us infer that the money offered to journalists at Puri by Member of Parliament Pinaki Mishra, when he was addressing the Press as President of the Parliamentary Committee on Urban Development, was deliberate and as per plan of BJD, eager to escape further exposure in chit fund and other scams.

Thrashed by severe protests over the mischief, and possibility of police action upon FIR lodged in the area PS, Mishra has termed it as “gift” and has rejected the allegation that it was an attempt to bribe the Press. “Gift to journalist” is not defined as an offense under the IPC, he has said. This shows, he has made a lot of mental exercise to escape prosecution after being caught with the corpus delicti for attempt to bribe the scribes.

Attention of the Press Council of India has been attracted to the condemnable conduct of the MP. If it entertains the allegation, bribe or gift whatever be it, would get weighed on the matrix of Press Freedom. And, I am sure, Mishra would be censored by the PCI, where the Indian Parliament has also its representation. Pinaki is conscious of what is to happen.

Therefore, he is in fidgets. The idea of describing the bribe he offered to media persons as “gift to journalists” could not have come to his mind had he not been in fidgets.

Two Mistakes

The MP has done two mistakes by linking UCO Bank to the money distribution.

Firstly, he has asserted that by handing over the money-carrying kits to journalists, the UCO Bank has done no wrong; because, Parliamentary practices provide for such services.

This is a very wrongful assertion.The reigning guidelines on tour of Parliamentary Committees do not support this claim. Therefore, BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra has termed it as an offense against dignity of the Parliament and has demanded that the Speaker of Lok Sabha, where Mishra is a member, should divest him immediately of his chair of the Parliamentary Committee that visited Puri.

And, if Bijay is not ignored by his party bosses, the point he has raised would sure hit the Parliament and if UCO Bank has really been used by the Parliamentary Committee on visit to Orissa by the chairman thereof, the Speaker would sure give him a stricture, if not dismissal.

Secondly, by exposing the UCO Bank link, he has generated a justified suspicion that he and/or his colleagues in the BJD Syndicate are holding black money in secret accounts in that Bank, so that such secret money could flow in without his signature into the money-carrying kits offered to journalists by the said Bank.

The black money angle
should be investigated into

It is imperative that the central government should investigate into the black money angle and keep the records before the public, so that the discomforting suspicion would come to an convincing end.

Therefore, the ethicality in using UCO Bank in an attempt to influence the Press and the possibility of black money stashed by BJD in the UCO Bank are issues to be looked into by the Parliament and Central Government respectively.

Mens rea

But for us the point for cogitation is: why at all Pinaki Mishra, MP of the party of Orissa’s Chief Minister, preferred a paltry sum of Rs.200/- to be offered to each of the journalists that attended his Press Conference at Puri on records? What was the mens rea?

The query pushes us towards a greater conspiracy to destroy dignity of media when, because of media activism, the BJD supremo’s credibility is suffering sharp erosion. The journalists are exposing the discernible details of the scams and of the investigations or lack of investigations thereinto, to the utmost chagrin of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. No other chief minister had attracted so much suspicious eyes over so many scams and loot of natural resources and tyrannic oppression on indigenous people for benefit of non-Oriya and foreign industries. In no other regime, resounding steps of compradors were so menacingly overwhelming the State administration. Slowly but steadily the curtain is being raised by the Press and the nasty inner color of the ‘MahakalaPhala’ (Trichosanthes Palmata) coming out. Naveen is to be protected from being exposed as a Trichosanthes Palmata, if BJD is to stay in power.

So the motive hidden behind Pinaki’s attempt to grease the journalists’ palm with accompanying tricks to bring that to public, was to create a situation for depletion of credibility of scribes whose alert eyes are now focused on Naveen.

Tricks can’t save

Naveen is sure, all the tricks he has contrived to mislead the people by christening all welfare projects of the State by his father’s name would fail; and he would be kicked out of office by the people, if the current trend of exposure by the Press continues.

Therefore, when several BJD members of Assembly and Parliament are in jail under judicial custody consequent upon exposure of scams, and possibility of exposure of his own involvement as the real operator of various scams through frontmen is gaining vigor, and media is digging out how he has acted a comprador of mine-grabbers like Jindal, and people have started suspecting him over the scams as a result of Press activism; the attractive Trichosanthes Palmata red-ball is at the verge of getting ripped off, attempts were made through Pinaki to show the people that the Press Reporters cannot be relied upon, because they are susceptible to external influence guided by bribes or gifts, howsoever small be the volume and the value.

Surly Editorial in Sanchar

The design to denigrate the Press, so that the people won’t be inclined to believe in what the journalists report, is spelt out in editorial of Sanchar, the paper of BJD heavyweight Damodar Raut, dated November 14, 2014, where attempts have been made to make out why the journalists are gainable by bribes or gifts and not reliable.

Sanchar has a marked nuisance value. When it was a periodical, Raut had got back his ministership by blackmailing Naveen Patnaik in a banner therein that read – “Belgium Glass ru Parada Khasuchhi” (Mercury is falling from the Belgium Glass). And, as Raut is now functioning as a minister, the daily avatar of the same Sanchar has, in the editorial cited supra, has aspersed the journalists, because of whose watchful eyes, it is difficult for Naveen to escape.

The evil and opportunistic design of Sanchar is bare, when, while shedding meretricious tears on plight of the journalists in the regime of Naveen Patnaik, the crabby editorial says that, most of the newspapers are not paying the journalists their due salary and therefore, they have no other way than depending on payola for giving publicity to whosoever wants. Knows as he of this, Pinaki had arranged cash gifts for them in both his press conferences at Puri and Bhubaneswar. The Puri scribes protested; but media persons of Bhubaneswar took the money with pleasure, the editorial has said. The entire editorial, captioned “Sambadikanka Swabhiman” is a shrewd attempt to destroy the public image of the scribes, so that whatever they report on economic offenses sic passim the State administration shall not be taken seriously. Thus, the Sanchar of minister Damodar Raut has tried to provide necessary support to the mischief of the ruling party executed through Pinaki Mishra.

Obviously the putrefactive viruses have taken up new masks, such as this editorial and terming the bribe offered to journalists as “gift”.

Acrobatics won’t work

But such wordy acrobatics will not work.

People know, if press persons had ever been guided by avarice, the felonious activities of political leaders and top brasses of administration that are exposed and on exposure of which governments have gone out of power time and again, and judicial inquiries have brought out hidden offenses of the rogues that rule, and leaders have been incarcerated, and plutocratic governments have been forced to allocate funds for welfare of the wretchedly poor, could never have been possible in India.

And the offenders know, the power they are misusing can never last for ever.

Money to media has failed at Puri, and will fail everywhere despite Sanchars and Arnab Goswamies.

As conscience cannot be wiped out, so also Press cannot be suppressed through money and innuendoes.

Pinaki’s Payola for Publicity Speaks of Black Money in active use by BJD through UCO Bank

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s close colleague and MP, Pinaki Mishra, who heads the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development, had not expected that he would attract police action over payola for publicity. Police has received the FIR against the mischief, but has not yet dared to register it, as action against Mishra would open up a new gate for action against the Chief Minister; because the particular transaction indicates that he and his colleagues are operating a parallel economy through black money in active operation through secret accounts in a nationalized bank like the UCO Bank.

It transpires that the District Information and Public Relations Officer, Puri had invited the journalist to a press meet to be addressed by Sri Mishra. Usual kits supposed to be carrying the written version of what Sri Mishra was to say were handed over to the scribes. But currency notes were found in every kit to their horror and embarrassment.

The journalist rightly raised their protests against the nasty tricks to pollute the Press and left the press meet instantly and went en masse to the area police station and filed FIR. Besides being corruptive, it is a contemptuous offense against freedom of Press.

Mishra has laid the blame on UCO Bank for this shenanigan. Caught red-handed, it is not unnatural for him to blame the bank to save his own skin.

But this illicit transaction strongly suggests that Naveen Patnaik and his close colleagues in the ruling party are operating secret accounts in UCO Bank and the UCO Bank that is holding their black money is ensuring payments to whosoever whenever they are instructed to. Otherwise, today, when all the Banks are inoperative due to strike by bank employees all over the country, UCO bank could never have put the money in Journalists’ kits as payola for publicity of the BJD MP.

This is a serious, very serious exposure. The truth – whether or not the CM – Naveen Patnaik – and his close colleagues like the MP Pinaki Mishra and leaders of the ruling party – BJD are holding black money in UCO Bank and operating the same in any form for any purpose must come out. And, it is incumbent upon the Central Government to ask the CBI to find out the truth, because UCO Bank is a nationalized Bank, which has been admitted by the MP to have conducted this transaction. From whose and which account and under whose instruction and signature the UCO Bank had drawn the money on a day of no banking must be clarified by the said Bank as well as the Central Government.

CBI and Corruption: Commonality between Father and Son_ Biju and Naveen

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

When the needle of suspicion in the compass of scams and misrule is pointing at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with increasing discernibility, Amicus Curiae Shyam Divan has told the Supreme Court on November 5 that Orissa Government is not cooperating with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the ongoing inquiry into mega chit fund scams, even though the same is being conducted under orders of the Apex Court.

This reminds me of the same experience the CBI had had while investigating into economic offenses of Biju Patnaik. The CBI Director, while confirming that certain allegations against him were “serious”, had told the Union Home Minister in his report on November 15, 1964 that, further enquiry – obviously judicial – should be instituted, to “come to a definite and clear conclusion”.

The striking commonality between the father and the son – Biju and Naveen – in corrupting administration to the extent of creating situations for the apex authorities to order for investigation thereinto by CBI, is as gross as substantial.

Everybody who is currently watching the cascading exposures of chit fund and other scams is seeing how in increasing velocity public suspicion is rushing towards Naveen. It would be better, therefore, to focus on the other one, his father Biju Patnaik.

Clandestine Comprador

After occupying the Chief Minister post in June1961, Biju unleashed such a reign of corruption and embezzlement that a former Chief Minister of Orissa, the great Gandhian Nabakrushna Choudhury had to put before the public, the modus operandi of Biju and his likes that were collecting huge sums of money in the name of election funds and swindling the same while acting as clandestine compradors of mine-owners and big businessmen, to the serious detriment of the common people and the public exchequer.

He had exposed the felony in the inaugural function of Gandhi Tattwa Prachar Kendra at Balasore on 23 July 1963.

Mass Awakening against Misrule

Following that exposure, by the end of August 1963, people of Orissa, severely affected by his corrupt practices and maladministration, had woke up en masse to seek his resignation. Students all over the State had spearheaded the campaign to oust him from the chair of the Chief Minister. Marking his swift fall, Justice H. R. Khanna, who had later headed the Judicial Enquiry into his offenses, had noted that his misuse of power for personal and family benefits had so severely eroded his credibility that, “within two or three years of his stewardship his public image became tarnished and the hopes which were built around him were shattered to pieces”.

Khanna Commission was the culmination of people’s non-stop agitations for action against Biju.

The unprecedented mass awakening led by the students had spread in full fury all over the State calling for action against him. The Congress high command and the Congress government in the center had tried to protect him. But all their nasty tricks had failed.

Forced to Quit

The tumult of the unprecedented mass agitation against him had ultimately forced the Congress High Command to ask Biju to quit under face-saving cover of Kamaraj Plan.

Biju resigned on October 1, 1963 in order to escape the wrath of the people.

His protege-cum-partner in corruption, Biren Mitra took over as Chief Minister.

Immediately after he took the oath, Mitra declared that he would rule the State on behalf of Biju, exactly as Bharat of Ramayan had done after Ram was banished from Ayodhya.

No wonder, the CBI faced hurdles in investigation. With his docile protege as his successor, Biju, as Chairman of the State Planning Board, acted ‘super CM’ .

CBI pressed on Preliminary Enquiry

People of Orissa were not content with Biju vacating the CM post. They wanted action against him and continued their agitation. The Parliament was rocked with demands for action against him. His passport should be seized and he should be subjected to criminal prosecution for felonies he committed, was the concentrated demand. It had forced India’s then Home Minister Gulzarilal Nanda to ask the CBI to conduct a “preliminary enquiry” into allegations leveled against Biju by Leader of Opposition and scores of public figures.

The CBI enquiry was ordered obviously to calm down the rising wrath of the people against the Congress Party under the banner and protection of which Biju had run his empire of corruption.

When the CBI penetrated into files and facts that formed the basis of some of the allegations against Biju, it faced non-cooperation from the State Government to proceed further. But to its utmost dismay, it was under pressure from above to give Biju a clean chit.

Pressure for exoneration

The CBI Director has very tactfully revealed this reality in his Report to Union Home Ministry on November 15, 1964. He had said, “On the basis of the scrutiny of the records, it is not possible to say that all the allegations are unfounded, unsubstantiated or untrue”. These very words of the CBI Chief most intelligently revealed that there was tremendous pressure on him from above to say that the allegations against Biju were unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue.

Had there been no pressure to say “the allegations were “unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue” the CBI would never have said, “it is not possible”.

Who must be the people in high echelon of power to have put such pressure on CBI?

Collaborators in Central Cabinet

We find them in the Union Cabinet who conspired to give the CBI report a burial as it went against Biju.

Instead of appointing a Judicial Commission of Enquiry, which was by then formulated and adopted as the necessary means to locate the crux of alleged felonies, when preliminary enquiries indicate prima facie correctness of allegations against persons in power, the central cabinet appointed a Sub-Committee of its own to “consider in detail the allegations against Orissa ministers, the CBI reports and the Ministers’ explanations”.

Despite Misconduct convincingly caught

The Cabinet Sub-Committee tried its best to render the CBI report inconsequential. Yet, the offenses of Biju Patnaik and his partner in corruption Biren Mitra were so vastly visible that, while refusing to institute a Judicial enquiry, it could not but say, “the manner in which Sri Patnaik and Sri Mitra, directly or otherwise, conducted government transactions in which were involved the interests of private concerns owned or controlled by them or by their relations, was definitely not in keeping with the normal standards of public conduct”.

Determined agitation

This design failed to dissuade people from their determination to see Biju and Biren ousted from the positions of power they were using to fleece from public exchequer. This determined agitation of the people forced the central leadership of Congress to ask Biju to resign from the chairmanship of the State Planning Board and his protege Biren from Chief-ministership. Biju resigned from the Planning Board chairmanship on January 29, 1965 and Biren from Chief-ministership about a month later on February 20. Shastriji appealed the people through the Lok Sabha on February 22 to “allow” this matter “to end” as both “Sri Biren Mitra and Sri Patnaik have already tendered their resignations”.

Punishment by the people

People of Orissa punished Biju Patnaik by rejecting him in all the five constituencies he contested in 1967 and also the Congress Party for having not punished Biju Patnaik.

The greatest beneficiary of people’s rejection of Biju Patnaik was R. N. Singhdeo, who headed a coalition with Jana Congress, formed by Congress members opposed to Biju.

Singhdeo appointed a Judicial Commission of Enquiry headed by Justice H. R. Khanna to inquire into and report on the charges against Patnaik and others.

Justice Khanna denounced Biju

In his report submitted on January 15, 1969, Justice H. R. Khanna denounced Biju as a morally corrupt fellow, as he was found to have used his chief-ministerial position to serve “the pecuniary and business interests of the companies, which had been started by him and with which his family members were associated” to such condemnable extent that “within two or three years of his stewardship his public image became tarnished and the hopes which were built around him were shattered to pieces”.

Scope yet to come

The ongoing CBI enquiry into chit fund scam in the regime of Naveen Patnaik offers a tremendous scope to study the syndrome in context of commonality between the father and the son in the zone of achieving personal benefits through power of governance.

CHHADAKHAI in views of Harekrushna Pattanayak

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Buddhist Tantric concept of well-being ‘Panchatattwa’ – Madya, Mansa, Matsya, Mudra, Maithuna – was banned under Hindu fanatic concept of ‘Panchuka’, converting the last five days of ‘Karttika’, the month of Buddhist Sadhavas, to a period of penance, in order to completely extinguish the Buddhist influence over the people of Orissa. Baffling, therefore, is the orgy of fish/meat eating by the very same practitioners of penance on the day immediately following the ‘Panchuka’.

My younger brother Harekrushna Pattanayak, in one of his poems published in his compilation ‘Niraba Pratikriya’ (Silent Reaction) has come down heavily on this cultural hypocrisy. The poem is captioned – Chhadakhai Chhada. It is in Oriya language and, as the occasion is purely an Oriya one, my esteemed visitors belonging to Orissa, may peruse it.

 

 

 

 

Chhadakhai Chhada by Harekrushna Pattanayakchhadakhai...2

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is either corrupt or incompetent, as suggested by Gowala scam

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The preceding posting was a prelude to this presentation.

Scams in every sphere of administration have engulfed Orissa in the regime of Naveen Patnaik. His stay in power is also based on ‘election scam’ that he executes by stupefying the people under overwhelming impact of all the official welfare programs named after his father Biju. Gullible people fail to understand the difference between welfare projects named after Biju and the political party named also after Biju, and mistake the welfare programs as gifts of Biju Janata Dal, and this mistake helps the BJD win the elections. Naveen is in power for 15 years despite all his misrule because of this ‘election scam’.

Audits and Courts have stripped his government layer by layer for corruption and incompetency, embezzlements and such other offenses signifying scams of severe nature. State Crime Branch, State Vigilance, Central Bureau of Investigations, and various Judicial Inquiry Commissions are busy in investigations into various scams perpetrated in Naveen’s regime.

However, I am going to focus in this presentation on another scam that severely endangers human health and living environment; but continues unabated.

This not-yet-investigated scam may be called by us as ‘Gowala scam of Bhubaneswar’. This scam is suggestive of how Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is either corrupt or incompetent, crying for immediate judicial investigation.

At the moment, the scam possibly is of Rs. 16,000,000/- per month, because, according to a source in GA department, around 4000 milkmen are paying Rs.4,000/- each as unofficial fees against government plots they have encroached in prime locations.

Every milkman (gowala in Supreme Court’s language) knows the collection agent of his locality and faithfully pays the payola to him every month. The ruling party gets the benefit and manages the mandarins so as not to implement the Municipal Corporation Act, 2003, which bans cow keeping in the capital city.

Most secured

This amount may be more or less. My source may be right or wrong. But, it is certain that, the milkmen are the most secured encroachers of prime plots in Bhubaneswar, more secured than even the present President of Orissa branch of BJP and former urban development minister K.V.Sighdeo, ill-famed for encroachment of government land in front of the Governor’s house.

To protect these milkmen, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has de facto killed the law his government had enacted in 2003.

I have discussed this phenomenon earlier and will repeat the discussion in this presentation to provoke the Chief Minister to place before the public his explanation, if any, over his government’s criminal silence, despite the the Supreme Court having fully endorsed the said Law in 2006, mandating the government to immediately oust the milkmen from Bhubaneswar and its periphery.

The 2003 Act and the Supreme Court

To save the city’s inhabitants and visitors from mosquito menace and from pernicious pollution, Orissa Legislature had made provisions in the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003 that had stipulated that cowsheds must stand obliterated within the limits of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) with immediate effect.

Orissa Milk Producers Association had moved the Orissa High Court against this new Law praying simultaneously that the Government be asked to rehabilitate them in suitable places in the city before eviction and not to impose prohibition on running of cowsheds. Orissa High Court rejected their plea.

They went to the Supreme Court of India against the order of the High Court. There they also failed.

The Supreme Court, in deciding Civil Appeal No.940 of 2006 arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 16362-16363 of 2004, made it absolutely clear that the milkmen must be evicted from the limits of BMC and must not be rehabilitated anywhere in the City and its periphery, as “Right to environment being a fundamental right, it is the duty of the State to make it sure that people get a pollution free surrounding”.

The milkmen had pleaded that the present Chief Minister’s father had assured them with rehabilitation and hence they should be given plots in substitute to run their business. Rejecting this plea, the Supreme Court had declared, “In view of the 2003 Act, even the doctrine of Promissory Estoppels will have no application”.

It had further ordered that the milkmen cannot even be allowed to put up cowsheds in villages bordering Bhubaneswar. “As by reason of the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, within the periphery of the town, dairies or cowsheds cannot be maintained, the State cannot be entitled to adhere to its earlier plan of rehabilitating them in villages mentioned therein”, the Supreme Court had said while observing, “Not only filth, stench and unhealthy places have to be eliminated, but the (town planning) would be such that it helps in achieving family values, youth values, seclusion and clean air to make the locality a better place to live”

Thus the Supreme Court has not only rejected the plea of milkmen to have cow-buffalo-swine-sheds in Bhubaneswar, but also has fortified the provisions laid down under Sections 409, 543 and 548 of The Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003, which prohibit keeping animals of cow category anywhere within and around the city limits.

The judgment delivered on February 2, 2006 is published in (2006) 3 Supreme Court Cases 229.

So, there was no legal problem at all over demolition of cowsheds and eviction of milkmen with their herds of animals to free the city from stench and flies and mosquitoes and malaria and filariasis and threats of cancer and tuberculosis.(ORISSA MATTERS, January 7, 2009).

But, for reasons best known to the Chief Minister, the milkmen, instead of getting evicted, are protected.

The following is a sample picture of demolition of roadside kiosks run by unemployed persons in pursuit of livelihood in the Unit 9 area of Bhubaneswar on October 30.

demolition of road side shops on 20.10.14

BMC has demolished many such kiosks of unemployed people trying to eke out a living. Another instance captured by camera in 2008:

demolition of shops

It has demolished tiny temples established by people for social utility. Some instances as caught in camera:

demolition of temple_twodemolition of temple 4demolition of temple_one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has used state terror in demolishing the slums where abjectly poor migrant laborers live braving inhabitable conditions, so that they can live for a day. The picture below presents how the evicted poor workers are helpless before the uniformed muscles of the State.

demolition of slum 2

Shameful, yet real
It is shameful for the Republic of India that, when there was no instance of an Indian selling himself/herself in a market for a day’s bread during the Britishraj, Bhubaneswar is having several laborer-markets, called ‘Mulia hat’ where every morning daily laborers (Mulia) gather to sell themselves for money. Only a few of them get a day’s engagement, many return resigned to fate.
The picture below is of one such Mulia Hats, where slum dwellers gather daily for selling themselves to anybody who can engage them in work for a day.Mulia Hat 1

 

In the labyrinth of misrule

Naveen Patnaik has misruled the State to such severe shrinkage of avenues of livelihood that Dadan (migration of laborers from Orissa to other States in search of work) is in constant rise. Dadan often ends in death of the worker due to non-payment of wages, slow starvation, and torture by the employer beyond endurance and resultant suicides. Whosoever fails to migrate to other states, tries his/her luck in the ‘Mulia Hat’ at Bhubaneswar. The picture shows this sordid reality.

These helpless people, resigned to fate, live in slums. Instead of giving them agricultural land, which, as excellent workers, they can use to earn their bread, the Naveen Patnaik government has been sacrificing thousands of acres of land at the altar of avarice of the ultra high rich people – mostly non-Oriyas – for industry and commercial hubs.

demolition of slum_oneWhen so generous to the rich, he is demolishing slums after slums, as if poor people have no right to earn their livelihood at Bhubaneswar. More menacing is the cruelty shown in demolishing their slums. The picture below carries a sample of this cruelty.

But when demolitions of slums, of self-employment kiosks, of temples etcetera is executed without any mercy for the affected, the milkmen are the only people who never face any eviction from encroached prime plots in the heart of the City.

In the preceding article of October 29 that was a prelude to this presentation, a particular location has been highlighted with relevant pictures for ready reference. I have given in that posting the location map for any functionary or conscious citizen to reach there and see what havoc is being played upon the living environment.

Here below are some more pictures that would show how the capital city of Orissa has been infested with illegal cowsheds and unrestrained cattle.

The milkmen leave their cattle roam freely and rest on the road that causes severe disadvantage to vehicular traffic, particularly in the night. A sample picture may suffice in understanding the threat to human safety.

Threat to life on the road

cows on the road 1

cows on the road 3

 

 

 

 

The menace is widespread.

gowala menace 1

The above picture is just a sample of illegal cow-keeping in another location in Bhubaneswar.

And, how is city environment affected by these illegal cowsheds?

3 ft high cow dung on the road, the cow shed behind the green fense4 to 5 ft high heap of cow dung on western main road to Capital Hospital

The above two pictures show, 3 to 4 ft high mount of cow dung has been heaped on a main road. And it has engulfed at least 5 to 6 ft of the road. Because of flowing cow dung and urine mixture, nearby slum houses are also very severely affected, as the picture below shows.

flow of cow dung on western main road to Capital Hospital

Severe danger to human health

As the corrupt government has protected this menacing danger to human health, the city of Bhubaneswar has become a den of nitrous oxide, methane and other greenhouse gases as well as noxious stinks produced by these illegal cowsheds.

It is established that ammonia (NH3) evaporating from cow dung and urine play havoc with environment. An adult cow emits 80 to 110 kilograms of methane gas over its lifetime. Four thousand illegal cowsheds in Bhubaneswar harbor at least 4,00,000 adult cows at the rate of 100 per shed in the average. So, one fears, Bubaneswar is forced to face 400, 000, 00 kg methane gas menace, because Naveen Patnaik’s government is in nexus with the milkmen.

The whole city is under layers of arsenic gas generated by burning of cow dung cakes by the milkmen for cooking and for repelling mosquitoes from their cowsheds and attached huts where they live. Arsenic is slow-poisoning the people residing near the cowsheds and specifically, the children. Cases of TB, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases and Pneumonia, Lung Cancer are increasingly hitting the Bhubaneswar Hospitals. Malaria, Filarial infection, Dengu and such other diseases caused by mosquitoes, various allergies, skin diseases, and cardiac problems are in the rise in the obstinately unhygienic environment the milkmen have created.

Most beneficial Act most brazenly killed

To save Bhubaneswar from this monstrous danger, the Assembly had laid down under Sections 409, 543 and 548 of The Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003 that the city must be immediately made free of Milkmen. Their association, as already shown supra, had challenged it up to the Supreme Court and failed.

As my sources say, the milkmen were paying Rs.300/- as protection money to GA department Officials which after enactment of the Act of 2003 had reached Rs.2000/- per cowshed. After the Supreme Court rejected the milkmen’s case and fully endorsed the Act of 2003, giving a direction to the State government to oust the milkmen forthwith from the city limits and periphery of Bhubaneswar, the protection money has been increased from Rs.2000/- to Rs.4000/- well within the knowledge of the Chief Minister.

If  Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is not involved with this scam, he should come forward to clear the doubts by explaining as to why his administration has not taken any step to demolish the cowsheds and to evict the cowherds and to free the government plots from their encroachments and to save Bhubaneswar from pollution, from the hazards of nitrous gases, from arsenic poison, from ammonia, from filth of cow dung and stench and from abnormal rise of temperature and collapse of its habitable climate under impact thereof.

The most beneficial Act has been most brazenly killed by Naveen Patnaik’s government. It is time, the Supreme Court should ask the CBI or appoint a special Commission to conduct an in-depth investigation into why the State Government has slept over its order passed in Civil Appeal No.940 of 2006 arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 16362-16363 of 2004, published in (2006) 3 Supreme Court Cases 229.

We may remind the Supreme Court that in the said order it had mandated that “Right to environment being a fundamental right it is the duty of the State to make it sure that people get a pollution free surrounding”.

We may remind the Supreme Court that in the said order, it had further said that. “Not only filth, stench and unhealthy places have to be eliminated, but the (town planning) would be such that it helps in achieving family values, youth values, seclusion and clean air to make the locality a better place to live”.

The pictures of filth we have given in this posting, as captured with the camera. We expect that the Supreme Court would appreciate that no camera can capture the stench.

The ‘Gowala scam of Bhubaneswar’ strongly suggests that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is either corrupt or incompetent.

But the correct picture can come out only if the Supreme Court asks the CBI or appoint a Special Commission to investigate and report as to why the Orissa Government has kept its own Law – The Orissa Municipal Corporation Act 2003 – inoperative in matter of the milkmen and has rendered the above noted order of the Supreme Court inconsequential so far.

We do not expect that the Supreme Court shall fail to ensure that its orders are honored and implemented by a State Government.

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