Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The Special Court established in Bhubaneswar to expeditiously dispose of criminal cases against ministers/MLAs/MPs is now referred to proceed with the case against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s close colleague/former Minister Pratap Kumar Jena, who, in the opinion of his area JMFC, is prima facie punishable for murder.
Jena, whom under persistent bellyache the Chief Minister had to jettison, is yet a member of the Assembly. Hence, he has been referred to the Special Court, Bhubaneswar for further judicial action.
It is a case of politically motivated double murder perpetrated on Jan.2,2021. Jena was not a lightweight minister; he was the Law minister of the State and was being viewed as a man of the CM’s inner circle. No wonder, his name was dropped from the list of the accused persons by the concerned Police Station at Mahanga, when the Chief Minister was the Police Minister.
The discernible support of the Police to Jena was vehemently protested against by the legal heir(s) of the murdered politician Kulamani Baral. Eventually, the protest metamorphosed into a Protest Petition, adjudicating upon which the JMFC has held Jena prima facie guilty.
The Magistrate has said:
“Perused the Protest Petition, Statement of complainant and Statements of witnesses and other available materials on record and found prima facie case punishable for offences under sections 302, 506 and 120B of the IPC made out against the accused person, namely Pratap Kumar Jena.”
As “the accused namely Pratap Kumar Jena is an MLA of Mahanga Constituency”, “the case record be transferred to the Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge-cum-Special Court, Bhubaneswar for disposal in accordance with Law” the JMFC has said.
This order of the JMFC has the potential to make the Chief Minister (The Police Minister) reveal to the public as to why the IIC of Mahanga had dropped the name of Pratap Kumar Jena from the list of accused persons in the charge sheet and why subsequently the DSP of Salepur also said that there was no reason to charge Jena for the murder.
These two police officers could never have dared to play this mischief with the Law had the Chief Minister not wanted Jena to be protected.