Orissa High Court directs DLO to complete action against the Samaja within two months

A retired IAS officer Suresh Mantry, eager to ingratiate himself into the offshoot gang of Servants of the People Society that is facing a challenge from genuine officiating president thereof in a civil case before the senior division civil judge of Cuttack, had transferred and suspended Sub-Editor of Samaja, Sri Devi Prasanna Nayak who leads the employees as President of their only and recognized trade union apparently in a design to cow down the workforce when the known authority of SoPS Sri K.C.Tripathi had asked the employees not to honor the usurpers, in the month of February 2012. Sri Tripathi had nullified the orders passed by Mantry and holding him highly irresponsible, had put him out of service. Yet, Sri Nayak was disallowed entry into the Samaja premised by use of muscle power by Mantry. The employees of the Samaja had taken a decision to go on strike in protest against the illegal steps taken against their President; but Sri Nayak being a devoted follower of the ideals of Utkalmani Pt. Gopabandhu Das, had dissuaded the members of the trade union from going on strike and had preferred to move the labor machinery against the mischief.

The trade union – Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association – through its General Secretary Subhas Chandra Singh moved the District Labor Officer Cuttack on 25 August 2012 to intervene as per labor laws. But the DLO – P.K.Mahapatra – was so discernibly subservient to the brand of IAS that Mantry was brandishing, he did not dare to initiate conciliation over the dispute raised by the TU. The offshoot gang of SoPS members, who, according to its officiating President Sri Tripathi has no legal locus standi, devised a shrewd method to keep Orissa officials browbeaten so that the police may not dare to act against criminal misappropriation of funds and other illegal activities of the gang. Under this design, a bunch of formers IAS and IPS officers some of them having headed the state administration as Chief Secretary and Director General of Police during their tenure, were recruited as advisors. And, the design has clicked so faithfully that, despite the High Court orders to the DGP, in Sourav Sahu case, the police is not taking any action against members of this gang such as Manubhai Patel for criminal misappropriation of Samaja funds and despite registration of Police cases on the basis of Tripathi’s allegations against crimes like forgery, breach of trust, tampering of SoPS records, illegal occupation of the Samaja, misappropriation of funds by production and sanction of false bills etcetera, the police is refusing to wake up. In the circumstances, the DLO (Mohapatra) was too overwhelmed under the blaze of the array of formers functionaries like Chief Secretary, DG of Police to take action against illegal victimization of Sri Nayak and other employees devoted to ethics and principles of their service and profession. Mohapatra even had openly confessed that he was at the verge of promotion and cannot dare to irritate the powerful people that have taken to their control, howsoever illegally be, a powerful daily like the Samaja.

In a situation like this, when the labor officer went on dillydallying the case, the Trade Union preferred a writ petition before the High Court of Orissa through its General Secretary Subhas Singh which was registered as WP ( C ) 2297 0f 2013. Going through the grievance of the workmen, a division bench of the Court comprising acting Chief Justice Hon’ble Justice P.Mohanty and Hon’ble Justice S.K.Mishra has directed the DLO, Cuttack to direct the SoPS “not to take any coercive action against members of the TU and to dispose of its dispute within two months.

Accordingly, after lapse of six valuable months, the DLO (a new officer) has instituted conciliation by an order yesterday.

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