HC Bar Assn on cease work to protest Panda’s arrest

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Cuttack: Vehemently protesting the arrest of senior lawyer Debasis Panda by the CBI yesterday, lawyers of the Orissa High Court Bar Association began a cease work from today.

The Association took the decision at its general body meeting in the morning.

“In its general body meeting today, the Association strongly condemned the manner in which the CBI arrested Debasis Panda and raided his house. It was unanimously decided in the meeting that the High Court lawyers will begin their cease work from today which will continue till July 8,” Bijay Kumar Ragada, secretary of the Association told media persons after the meeting.

He further said the Association will have another general body meeting in the afternoon on July 8 to decide on its future course of action.

“The Association has also requested all district bar associations to observe July 8 as protest day,” he said.

Ragada said there was no reason to arrest Panda since he had fully cooperated with the CBI in its investigation whenever the agaency called him.

“Soon after he was arrested by the CBI last evening, some lawyers had gone to the CBI office to meet him. But the CBI officials did not allow them to meet Panda. Besides, we have come to know from reliable sources that the CBI officials had asked him to sit on a chair all night without taking rest. The Association has taken strong exception to the humiliation meted out to him by the CBI officials,” Ragada said.

Notably, the CBI had called up Panda to its office yesterday for interrogation on his alleged links with the AT Group chit fund company chief Pradip Sethy.

The arrest followed an hour-long interrogation of Sethy by the CBI sleuths at Jharpada jail earlier in the day.

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