Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
In appointing a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to probe into the Pipili gang-rape case, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has indicated that he too has no faith in the Crime Branch of the State. Sad.
People are rejecting the Judicial Commission as such judicial commissions are of no use in timely dispensation of justice inasmuch as prosecutions will have to wait till the Government accepts its report and approves its recommendations, which may take a decade.
This nasty administrative game needs no elaboration, as, more than a dozen of Judicial Commissions appointed to probe into felonies committed during Naveen Patnaik’s incumbency are not yet able to arrive at their final findings.
When they conclude their investigations, they shall submit their answers to issues fixed by the Government to the Government under the Commission of Inquiries Act and then the Government, taking time as it likes, will decide on acceptability of the recommendations and then only, if recommendations are for prosecution against persons found responsible for the crime concerned, prosecution shall start. And, the case shall enter into a labyrinth of litigations, which the person or persons affected by the crime can seldom tackle to obtain justice.
So, Judicial Commissions of Inquiry are safe havens for the criminals.
Naveen Patnaik has provided such a haven to executants of the felony at Pipili.
Hence, the only alternative available, is a CBI inquiry. Orissa’s greatest watchdog of freedom of press, the Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) is spearheading the demand for such an inquiry.
Come Monday – 16 January – Bhubaneswar, the citadel of the rulers, will see political luminaries, social activists, students leaders, youth bigwigs, cultural celebrities together with the media persons in a very unique solidarity march against the State Government shying at the proposal for inquiry by CBI while its Minister from Pipili has been trying to intimidate the Press for having focused on the felony.
I maintain that it would have been the best had the primacy of Crime Branch in investigation into and initiation of penal prosecution against the Pipili crime not been crippled by the State Government. It is sad that the Police is tolerating this deathblow from the Chief Minister on credibility of its star sector, the Crime Branch. The Police top-brass’s ‘Yes Boss’ habit is making the gravest casualty of the crime investigation machinery. It is not yet defined, but discernible to alert eyes that the State Police is feeling suffocated by annihilation of credibility of the Crime Branch by a Chief Minister of no political will.
It would be better for Naveen to read the writings on the wall.