Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Why shouldn’t justice look justified, wonders one watching the cries of Narayan Patra, a senior citizen of Bhubaneswar over what he believes to be apparent protection of murderers of his daughter Kalyani in the High Court of Orissa.

Kalyani’s husband Atmaram Sahu kas been convicted with life imprisonment for the murder by the concerned Sessions Judge against which he has come in appeal to the High court. The said Sessions Court has acquitted mother and two sisters of Atmaram even as the mother has been convicted under the Dowry Prevention Act with one-year rigorous imprisonment and fine. Prosecution has preferred an appeal before the High Court against the acquittal of the three ladies from murder charges and is also challenging the appeal preferred by Atmaram against his conviction. Patra has preferred a Criminal Revision case also in the High court against the acquittal of the ladies.

Patra has not engaged any lawyer to represent him in the Court whereas the accused side is being served by ex-M.P. Brahmanand Panda, who is trying to convince the court that the death of Kalyani was not homicidal but was suicidal. Notwithstanding the stand taken by the government pleader, Patra is aggressively eager to establish the murder. His grievance is that the Judge, hearing the case, has not paid him the ear expected in hearing an aggrieved person when the said person is neither educated in Law nor is a practicing lawyer.

He has bitter experience of lackadaisical treatment to the matter in the High Court when in the past, bails were granted to the accused group in installments in total oblivion of charges framed under section 302. As a father of a deceased daughter, held “murdered” in the sessions court, he is emotionally affected as the entire group involved with the murder is not yet punished.

To him, justice does not seem to be so, so far.

Aggrieved by being stymied in placing his points in the Court that was hearing his case, he has expressed his apprehension that justice may get derailed if the judge is not changed.

He has put his grievances on records in writing and through affidavit.

Even as the words he has used should sure have been avoided, to us it occurs that if such an environment would have been there where justice should have been seen justified, Patra could have not written what he has written.

Patra’s case prods us to say that it best be treated with judicial introspection.

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