Himansu Shekhar Rout

The hearing of the Mahanga double murder case underway at the Salipur JMFC court was extended on Saturday as former minister & BJD MLA Pratap Jena, one of the accused in the case, sought more time citing that the case is sub-judice in the Orissa High Court. He was supposed to personally appear in court.  

However, the date for the next hearing is yet to be finalized. 

As per reports, the Salipur JMFC court was to hold the hearing of the case on Saturday. The hearing was related to two petitions. One petition was filed by Pratap Jena appealed for exemption from personal appearance in the court under section 205 of IPC. During hearings of the case, his counsel on his behalf would be appearing before the court.  
The other petition was filed by the Baral family seeking to add the petition of Jena’s personal appearance to the main case under section 210 of the IPC. The main case (the government-registered case) is related to the murder of Kulamani Baral(74) and Dibyasingh Baral (82) in which police have filed charge sheets against some accused.   

Appearing before the court, Jena’s counsel told the JMFC court that since the case is sub-judice at the High Court, they want more time. The JMFC court granted Jena more time and the hearing of the case was extended. 

On November 2, the Orissa High Court stayed any coercive action against the former minister by the Salipur JMFC court. In its September 25 order, the Salipur JMFC court had earlier taken cognizance of the offenses against Jena as an accused in the double murder case. After going through the statements of the complainant, witnesses, and other available materials on record, the court ordered a prima facie case punishable for the offenses under sections 302, 506, and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code to be made against Jena.

The JMFC court had asked Jena to depose before it on October 31, 2023, and sent summons to him through a special messenger. However, Jena had skipped the hearing on October 31 and his lawyer on his behalf appeared before the court. Moreover, he urged the court to exempt him from personal appearance as per section 205 of IPC citing illness.

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