Ramakanta Biswas

Two senior BJP leaders - Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs and Jal Shakti Bishweswar Tudu and Sundergarh MP Jual Oram - who are facing serious charges of assault and indecent behaviour have approached the Orissa High Court seeking anticipatory bail.     

Tudu, who was accused of assaulting two Odisha government officials with a chair at his party office on January 21, filed the bail application on February 2 through his advocate Pankaj Khandelwal apprehending arrest over the case. It was not known yet when the bail plea would be taken up for hearing. 

A case was registered against the Union Minister at Baripada Town Police station on the basis of the complaint by the two officials- Mayurbhanj District Deputy Director (Planning) Aswini Mallick and Assistant Director Debasish Mohapatra.

Based on the complaint, the police have initiated a probe against Tudu. A team of police and forensic officials also visited the Union Minister's office recently.

On the other hand, Sundargarh MP and former union minister Jual Oram has filed a petition for pre-arrest bail in connection with a case filed at Jhirpani police station. 

The parliamentarian has been accused of showing indecent behaviour to a woman who had approached him seeking help for contesting the panchayat polls. The offence allegedly committed by the MP is punishable under Sections 294, 354 and 507 of the IPC. 

A single bench of Justice S Pujahari heard the plea on Thursday and granted anticipatory bail to the MP on condition that he shall cooperate with the investigation. 

While granting bail, the bench observed that the petitioner is ready and willing to cooperate with the investigation and has no chance of absconding or tampering with the prosecution evidence, if released on pre-arrest bail.

The Court directed that in the event of arrest of the petitioner in connection with the case, he be released on bail by the police on such terms and conditions as deemed just and proper.