Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Bikash Swain, publisher of broadsheet Oriya daily Suryaprava has been granted bail by the Orissa High Court on Nov.11 in the matter of the pending CBI case against chit fund Artha Tatwa. He was arrested on Sept 5, 2014.
The then Advocate General Ashok Mohanty arrested in the same case on September 22 was granted bail on Sept.26, 2014, as Orissa High Court directed the District Judge to enlarge him on bail.
Another suspected beneficiary of the same chit fund MLA Pravat Tripathy had been granted bail by the High Court on March 3, 2015.
Even though bail to Bikash would please his colleagues in Suryaprava and friends in the fraternity, his two-years-long stay in jail awaiting the bail would continue to raise question on why his liberty was denied to him for so long, when the above named persons had got back their liberty in shorter time. There should be an academic discussion on this and lawyers who have the necessary knowledge in the intricacies of law and the aptitude to help people understand this phenomenon should frankly advance their input on the topic. We believe, our constitution never supports any discrimination.
There is no offense, which is not bailable. The non-bailable offenses are bailable in higher type of courts as specified in the law.
So, bail granted to Bikash Swain is not surprising. Surprising is the delay in grant of bail to him. The CBI being his prosecutor should tell, why it was so delayed.
When the CBI arrests a person, it never means that the said person is guilty of the alleged offenses. The role of CBI in the matter of Ottavio Quattrocchi is too well-known to accept that it doesn’t act under extraneous pressure, particularly from fellows in power. Yet, we pin our hope in it, because it is the national agency of investigation.
The instances cited supra read with the bail to Bikash Swain make us wish, even though the bail is a matter of the judge’s discretion, it should never appear as discrimination.
In every case, the alleged offenders should be treated as absolute equals in matter of bails; because, before closure of the case, nobody, not even the judge, can say – who amongst the accused persons is a greater or a lesser offender. Till the end of the case, all the accused persons are only accused offenders. No bigger, no smaller. Absolutely the same and equal. So, their right to bail should be the same and equal.
Now, the question is : when five persons have been granted bail on the same day in the same case, why I am speaking only about Bikash Swain?
This is because, in Swain’s case, we have earlier seen how he was sent into the jail in blatant disregard to Constitutional provisions and Supreme court ruling , as his paper was exposing official misdeeds.
Please peruse the discussion under this link: