Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Former MLA Uma Ballav Rath, presently in BJP, is more known for his opposition to illegal allocation of several thousands of acres of land to a dubious private project styled the Vedanta University.
He is one of the persons that have exposed the Naveen Patnaik component of corruption in acquisition and allocation of the huge marine drive land to the commercial hub conceived by Anil Agrawal under cover of the so-called university oblivious of the reality that any such private business in that location would also be detrimental to the defense of the country.
The favor has been held illegal by the High Court of Orissa that has also issued a mandamus for return of the acquired land to original owners thereof. It is certainly very embarrassing to the Chief Minister.
In such an environment, a surprise raid on Rath’s house by CESCO to determine whether or not its electric meter was tampered with, is not a matter to be ignored by the civil society.
Therefore, when news spread that the CESCO authorities were trying to embarrass the Rath family when Uma Ballav was not present even in the town, members of the civil society rushed to his rescue and stopped the raid party from escaping till law takes note of the motivated mischief.
No male member of the family was present in the house when the CESO raided. The mother and the wife of Rath were the only ones that were present when the raid party stormed into the house.
Informed of this, Rath rushed back to his home and to his horror found that the meter had been broken by the CESCO raid party.
It was found that the raid party had no legal authority to force their unannounced entry into the house of Rath during his absence and to break the meter to the utter disadvantage of the house owner.
Rath has informed the Police of the mischief and declared to sue the CESCO as well as the persons concerned if the Police does not take immediate steps for prosecution against them.
CESCO did not do such surprise raid anywhere in the neighborhood the same day. It establishes that the raid on Rath’s house was deliberate and highhanded.
Penal action against this illegality is essentially a must to save civil society from conspiracy of administration.