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:
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.