No strict action against Gajbhiye: CAT directs Odisha govt

Bhubaneswar: In a major embarrassment to the Odisha government in the suspension case of IPS officer and former Kendrapara superintendent of police (SP) Satish Gajbhiye, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today directed the State government not to take stringent action against the officer.

It also said the directive will remain intact till further notice.

Gajbhiye was suspended on August 13, six days after the much-publicised police action on demonstrators in Kendrapara. The demonstrators, who gathered there on August 7, were demanding the immediate arrest of self-styled spiritual leader Santosh Raula alias Sarathi baba.

Soon after the incident, which witnessed State-wide uproar against the IPS officer, the State government had asked former director general of police (DGP) Saneejv Marik to frame draft charges against Gajbhiye with immediate effect. But, instead of carrying out the orders, Marik had preferred to delay the action which subsequently went in the favour of the suspended SP. The matter went to such extent that the suspended SP, taking advantage of the loopholes of the State government, met Marik and submitted his joining report much to the embarrassment of the chief minister.

Highly placed sources, on condition of anonymity said, the favouritism for Gajbhiye resulted in Marik’s early exit from the top police post. Marik was to superannuate on December 31.

Earlier a week ago the duration of the suspension of the IPS officer, accused of committing excesses on protesters during a demonstration in Kendrapara and violation of human rights, was extended by another six months.

The decision to extend Gajbhiye’s suspension was taken on the basis of a recommendation by the high-level committee that met here last week under the chairmanship of chief secretary Gokul Chandra Pati.