CUTTACK: The Odisha Lokayukta has been accused of committing contempt of court by misrepresenting a purported Orissa High Court order in a special leave petition (SLP) filed in the Supreme Court. The Lokayukta had filed the SLP against the February 3 High Court order which had quashed the anti-corruption watchdog’s direction for a probe by the State Vigilance against former minister Pradeep Panigrahy. The accusation was made in a contempt petition filed by the Gopalpur MLA in the High Court on Wednesday, August 11, 2021.
Panigrahy’s counsel Pitambar Acharya said the petition has sought contempt proceedings against Lokayukta Chairman Justice Ajit Singh and Secretary Manas Tripathy. Acharya alleged that the misrepresentation of a purported High Court order which formed the basis of the SLP exemplified ‘judicial impropriety of highest order’. “A six page order of the High Court submitted with the SLP seems to be non-existent. It is a fraud committed by the Lokayukta,” he alleged.
On April 23, the Supreme Court acting on the SLP had stayed the February 3 order of the High Court and issued notice to Panigrahy. The State Vigilance had since resumed investigation in the disproportionate assets case against Panigrahy even as the SLP is still pending before the Supreme Court, Acharya said.The government had referred the disproportionate assets case to Lokayukta in December which in turn a few days later, directed the State Vigilance Directorate to probe the allegations made against him in a complaint and give a report within two months. A DSP (Vigilance) had filed the complaint in pursuant to a secret inquiry.