Wednesday, May 6, 2015
MURDERED SCRIBE'S FAMILY GETS JUSTICE AFTER 40 YRS Wednesday, 06 May 2015 | PNS | CUTTACK | in Bhubaneswar
Posting this news published in the pioneer for perusal of all
MURDERED SCRIBE'S FAMILY GETS JUSTICE AFTER 40 YRS
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 | PNS | CUTTACK | in Bhubaneswar
In a significant judgment, the Odisha High Court has convicted all the nine persons accused in the murder case of young journalist Parsuram Satpathy more than 40 years ago in Balangir district. Six of the nine convicted have died. The court sentenced the accused to life imprisonment. A Division Bench of Justices Vinod Prasad and Sangam Kumar Sahoo pronounced the judgment on Monday after completing the hearing of the criminal appeal in March this year.
The court convicted all the accused, including former MLA Prasanna Kumar Pal, Artatrana Singh Deo and Dhobai Podh, for various offences including those under Section 302 (murder) of IPC. The case relates to the death of Parsuram in the evening of November 29, 1974 at Balangir when a jeep belonging to a late Union Minister hit him while he was travelling by a bicycle with one of his friends. Parsuram, then a known Bharatiya Lok Dal (BLD) sympathiser, died on the spot with severe head injuries.
While the then Chief Minister Nandini Satapathy announced in the Assembly that Parsuram died in an accident, the Government was forced to order a Crime Branch enquiry into it following a massive public outcry. A murder case was registered naming at least nine accused. But based on the prosecution charge-sheet, a local lower court acquitted all the accused, and subsequently the Odisha High Court too upheld the lower court’s verdict. However, Parsuram’s brother Hareram as informant in the case moved the Supreme Court in 1984 challenging the HC order.
Setting aside the HC order, the apex court remanded the matter again to the HC for retrial after observing that the case has a fierce political undertone. But it took another 31 years for the HC to complete the hearing and pass the judgment. “I argued the case at least before 16 different Benches in the HC,” said Hareram’s advocate SS Swain.