Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
With nullification of dismissal of the former Inspector-in-charge (IIC) of Pipili PS by the State Administrative Tribunal on January 17, I have no hesitation in saying that the Chief Minister of Orissa Naveen Patnaik and the Police Chief of Orissa Prakash Mishra had shrewdly collaborated with the Pipili felony of gang rape that ultimately exterminated the victim. Only a CBI or a Commission of Inquiry investigation into why the Director General of Police issued a legally untenable dismissal order to the IIC and why being the Minister-in-charge of Police, the Chief Minister had not objected to that, is now urgent to fix up responsibility as to who of these two top functionaries is guilty to what extent in the Pipili context.
As the DGP dismissed the IIC on January 24, 2012 in stark contravention of the very provision under which the dismissal was ordered, and as Orissa’s political and legal luminaries were conspicuous by their silence on this point, I had to post my views in these pages in public interest, on January 28, 2012, exposing how the dismissal was nothing but official protection given to the IIC with all the scope to get that nullified in appropriate court of law.
The SAT has now nullified the illegal order exactly as I had apprehended.
I had captioned my analysis as “Dismissal of former IIC of Pipili PS is a classic instance of how Naveen is hoodwinking the people”.
I had then written,
“The Director General of Orissa Police has dismissed the former Inspector-In-Charge of Pipili Police Station, Amulya Champatiray, for serious dereliction in duty that has endangered the life of a Dalit girl and ruined her family. The order is being used to hoodwink the people.
The guilt of Champatiray is discernible to naked eyes. So, people are happy over his dismissal. But the dismissal is discernibly farcical, because it is not legal and cannot survive the test of law.
Champatiray had protected the alleged rapists of Pipili by not registering FIR on receipt of the allegation of gang rape and of attempt to murder that has sent the victim into coma.
So, he deserves the severest of punishment and deserves no sympathy.
But, with the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as the Police (Home) Minister, his dismissal is crafted so cunningly that despite his offenses, he shall get back his service by challenging the order of dismissal in appropriate Court of law; because no Court will allow rape of the Constitution by any Governmental authority”.
I am thankful to friends, specifically Prasanta Patnaik, to have supported me at that stage. But their views, despite being most relevant, also got ignored.
Now that the apprehension I then had expressed has come true by the verdict of SAT, which is the High Court in the matter of the government employees, it is necessary for the State to abstain from killing further time in untenable preferences to higher forum of law; because no court of law including the Supreme Court can make an illegal order legal.
After my analysis, were he ignorant about the law and really innocent, the Chief Minister, being the head of the political government, should have asked the DGP to withdraw the faulty order of dismissal and to proceed afresh in the matter by subjecting the IIC to domestic inquiry under necessary environment of natural justice and then to determine the dose of consequential punishment. By not doing this, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, whose party colleagues are perceived as culprits, had done his best to help the IIC escape the dragnet of law in the court of law.
It is therefore urgent that instead of raising meritless appeals in higher legal forum(s), the Chief Minister should institute an inquiry against himself and his Police Chief to prove them innocent of the conspiracy in that forum. Having instituted a commission of inquiry against himself, former Chief Minister of Orissa late R. N. Singhdeo had created precedence. Naveen should not shy at this precedence in this matter.