Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

BJD MLA and former Law Minister Pratap Jena skipped his appearance in the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) on Tuesday in response to the summon issued to him pertaining to the Mahanga double murder case.

As per reports, Jena presented his stand in JMFC court through his lawyer. Moreover, he urged the court to exempt him from personal appearance as per section 205 of IPC citing illness. Meanwhile, the opposition lawyer has appealed the court to quash Pratap’s petition.

The hearing on the matter is scheduled to take place at 2 pm today.

The court had issued summon to Jena to be present in the Court on October 31.

The court had taken cognisance of offences against Jena as an accused in the Mahanga double murder case in its September 25 order. After going through the statements of the complainant, witnesses, and other available materials on record, the court had found that a prima facie case punishable for the offences under sections 302, 506, 120 B of the Indian Penal Code is made against accused Jena.

Notably, BJP leader Kulamani Baral, who was the block chairman of Mahanga and his associate Dibyasingha Baral were brutally killed by unidentified miscreants on January 2, 2021, while they were returning home by a motorbike. Earlier, the prime accused in the case-Prafulla Biswal had been found dead under mysterious circumstances.