Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Police has started prosecution against Pradip, who alleged attempted to murder Class IV employee Ramesh Sethi in the residence of IAS officers Ardhendu and Madhur Sarangi on May 21. He has been remanded to judicial custody, as Police did not prefer any further investigation.

After committing the crime, Pradip had allegedly gone underground. Police obtained information on his whereabouts from his family and arrested him from Chennai where he was staying with one of his friends. He did not try to escape and readily came with Bhubaneswar Police and divulged why and how he assaulted Sethi.

Though the episode looks like a stage-managed drama, the Police have the liberty to close the chapter in respect to him because Pradip having declared to have perpetrated the crime, the Police, given its wont, cannot be expected to stretch the issue any further.

To keep the society safe from scoundrels, the Police in this case should do better by trying to find out if Pradip is acting or not as a cover. And, to assure us that he is not acting as a cover, Police should place before the public the details of his disposition and behavioral antecedents including instances, if any, of his brutality flared up in so sudden fury as we are being made to see in this instant case.

When for money, man is parting with his ancestral land; when for money, mother is parting with her beloved baby; when for money, a Prime Minister parts with probity; when for money, an IAS officer acts as a loyal dog of private industry, an IPS officer acts as a criminals’ conduit, a Commander carries out espionage for the enemy; when for money, a husband betrays his wife, a woman takes extra-conjugal sperm to become a surrogate mother, nobody can say for sure that Pradip is not parting with his innocence to become a cover.

To eliminate any such possible emergence of doubt the Police should come out with the details of criminal antecedents or blind-in-rage activities of Pradip. Whether or not they think it prudent would be known later.

But what the Police must immediately do is to honor the spirit of Section 39 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as discussed in these pages earlier and act against the IAS officer who has, sans any justifiable personal excuse, not informed the nearest Magistrate or the Police Officer of the commission of crime against life of Sethi in the privacy of his residence but on the other hand, has tampered with the cuprous delicti by removing the victim from the spot of crime.

Action against Ardhendu is a necessity on the further ground that as an IAS officer he cowed down the on-duty Medical Officers of the casualty wing of the Capital Hospital not to inform the Police of anything about Sethi. The casualty M.O. had admitted Sethi to medical care by registering him for treatment vide Outdoor Registration No. 9715 dated 21 May 2008. The Casualty Outdoor Register shows that Sethi was brought to the Hospital by Ardhendu Sarangi, IAS at 9.08 A.M. Sethi was drenched in blood, with grievous injury in the scalp and was profusely vomiting. It was urgent for admission in the indoor and simultaneously it was urgent to inform the Police. The Police has its outpost in the Capital Hospital adjoining the casualty outdoor. As the on-duty Doctor was making a requisition for the Police, Sarangi intervened and insisted that the Doctor should desist from calling the Police. He then asked the on-duty Doctors to desist from admitting Sethi for the indoor and further compelled them to desist from showing the seriousness of the injury on records. Accordingly, on the outdoor register a simple scalp injury was mentioned. Then before any chance transmission to the Police outpost takes place, he whisked out Sethi from the observation table and sped away with the man who was in coma condition. As records reveal, Sethi was admitted in the SCB medical College in a coma condition caused by severe head injury.

The Doctors on duty at the Casualty outdoor of the Capital Hospital who were cowed down and restrained by Ardhendu from discharging their legitimate duty to the severely injured Sethi at the relevant time were Dr. Snehalata Nath, Dr. Bhavani Shankar Bal and Dr. Saraswati Das.

How does the Police react to this?

And, how does the Chief Minister Navin Patnaik, who always says that law will take its own course, react to this evident reluctance of the Police to activate Laws against this heinous offense against administration of Law?

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