CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Tuesday ordered departmental action as per law against Jharsuguda district Excise Superintendent NC Meher in connection with disobedience of its interim order relating to a liquor shop at Brajrajnagar.
The Court had earlier directed for suspension of Jharsuguda Collector for violating the interim order on August 13 and asked the Revenue Secretary to conduct an inquiry into it and submit a report.
The report was submitted to the Court in a sealed cover by a Joint Secretary of the Excise department. After perusal of the report, the division bench of Chief Justice KS Jhaveri and Justice KR Mohapatra issued the direction for action against Meher and posted the next date of hearing in the case to September 24.
The case had reached the Court when one Bina K Patnayak challenged the demand notice issued to him by the district excise authorities for payment of licence fee and other arrears of over `1 crore on March 1. The Court issued the interim order on March 19 when Patnayak challenged the demand notice.
“In the meantime, no coercive action shall be taken against the petitioner pursuant to the demand notice dated March 1, 2019”, the Court said in the interim order. But on April 25, Jharsuguda Collector issued an order declaring him a defaulter, resettled the liquor shop and granted licence to another person.
Patnayak challenged the Collector’s order through another petition. On August 13, the Court directed the State Government to place Jharsuguda Collector Jyoti Ranjan Pradhan under suspension for disobeying the order.
The State Government suspended him the next day. Subsequently, the Government reinstated Pradhan and posted him as Bargarh Collector after the Court recalled its order for his suspension on August 19 on submission of compliance of the interim order.