Bhubaneswar Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Jul.27

Have judicial courts forgotten their powers to draw contempt proceedings against willful contraveners of their rulings? If so, what the High Court is doing to restore the authority of the courts within its own jurisdiction?

It might be such that no individual has drawn the High Court’s attention to instances of flagrant contravention of judicial orders by jail authorities, but a particular case has been hitting the headlines of all the newspapers of Orissa as well as of news bulletins of television networks. Is it much to expect that judges of the High Court pay attention to information of public interest, particularly those affecting the authority of judiciary in the State under their jurisdiction and initiate sue motto action to salvage the credibility of Law? How then the Orissa High court is sitting silent over SOS information flashed all over that packs of convicted prisoners who were ordered for R.I. by different courts on different charges on different occasions have been freed from the Angul jail by the jailor in stark contempt of the courts concerned!

Some of the IPS officers hankering for fame that Kiran Vedi has acquired have resorted to what they say ‘pampering the criminals in to mainstream life’. And taking advantage of that, jailors have been busy in providing various facilities including visits to various temples to the prisoners under their control. The jailor of Angul surpassed everybody in allowing as many as 34 convicted criminals to leave the jail and visit their places of interest on their own accord. They did not return as expected. The jail staff now busy to rearrest them has so far brought back only 13, even as one is reported to have committed suicide. The rest 20 criminals are yet at large.

Now, the question is: did the jailor free them on orders of the courts that had imprisoned them by judicial determinations? If not, is it not contempt of courts by the jailor who rendered the court verdicts inconsequential?

The anarchy let loose by jail authorities in guise of reforms is of such venality that the High Court can not and must not ignore if it is to fulfill its constitutional obligations to superintendent and control the administration of justice in the state under its jurisdiction.

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