BHUBANESWAR: Caught on the wrong foot after two of its investigating officers (IOs) were slapped warrants for not appearing before courts during trials leading to a delay in conviction, the Odisha Police on Monday said it has warned officers to attend the court proceedings.“We have instructed the IOs to appear before the courts during trials. The conviction rate has not dropped due to such instances,” Crime Branch ADG Santosh Upadhyay asserted.“Most of IOs are attending court proceedings. Some engaged in multiple duties are unable to attend but in such circumstances, the officials should furnish prior intimation to courts and take permission for a short adjournment,” he added.
However, if the officers continue to abstain from attending trials of the cases, appropriate departmental action will be initiated, the ADG cautioned. The tough posturing by the State Police came after a court in Bhubaneswar recently issued bailable warrants of `5,000 against Inspector-ranked officer Gayatri Mishra, now posted at Talabania police station in Puri, for failing to appear before the court over a case registered under Section 498-A. Similarly, bailable warrant was also issued against Oupada police station Inspector Ganesh Pradhan, who during his posting as a Sub Inspector at Nayapalli police station, had taken charge of a case of murder but did not appear before the court during trial.
Meanwhile, in another development, several visually challenged persons on Monday protested in front of Vigilance office here alleging the anti-corruption agency’s deliberate slackness in not filing charge sheet in a case dating back to 2015. The protestors said, Odisha Association for The Blind’s election was conducted in 2015 and alleged discrepancies in it. Bihari Nayakm who was elected president, allegedly used unfair means and then he swindled the organisation’s money to the tune of `74 lakh, the protestors said. “I was the internal auditor of the association before the 2015 elections. Nayak won the election by unfair means and swindled money,” a protestor Bhagwan Pati said.
“We urged the police to take action, but to no avail. We then filed a PIL in Orissa High Court following which Vigilance officers arrested Nayak in 2015. However, they have so far not filed the chargesheet in connection with the case,” he added.The anti-corruption agency’s officers pointed out that the investigating officer had not submitted the compliance report for which the chargesheet was not filed in the court.
“The IO submitted the compliance report on April 13 which was sent to Vigilance headquarters for approval on April 16. Once the compliance report gets approved, chargesheet will be filed,” Vigilance DSP KV Acharya told The Express. The DSP also acknowledged that the investigating officer of the case delayed submission the compliance report.