Odisha Minister of State for Home Tusharkanti Behera’s statements that police and lawyers are taking commission from the compensation released to the victims in SC & ST atrocity and rape cases has kicked off a storm in Odisha.
Several retired police officials and lawyers have condemned such remarks by the minister.
While addressing an event in Bhubaneswar on Monday, Behera had stated that several police officials and lawyers take commission in atrocity cases. SC, and ST atrocity cases are being used to implicate others.
Terming it a purely personal view, Behera had said, “In some cases, false narrative is being created. If the victim is a SC or ST, they are becoming a tool. Some lawyers demand money from the victims to ensure that the case is established following an inquiry by SDPO. Usually, the compensation is released to the victim if the allegations are found to be true following investigation by the SDPO."
Condemning such statements, Harihar Pani, a retired police official said, “Police has no role in atrocity case as it files chargesheet after carrying out an investigation. The inquiry is jointly done by a DSP or additional SP rank official and an executive magistrate. Odisha Police is discharging its duty honestly. The statements by the minister could be a slip of tongue.”
Orissa High Court lawyer, Khirod Rout said, “It appears that the minister’s statement is only based on half-truth and he has no full knowledge about the legal system.”
Rout further stated that in any criminal case, it is the police who register the case and file the chargesheet and the entire investigation is also done by them.
“The lawyers only conduct the case in court. It is the police who have a major role in the registration of cases, investigation and filing of chargesheets. Even the court cannot interfere in the police investigation. The compensation is released to victims only on the basis of investigation and chargesheet filed by police. I urge police officials and minister not to create such confusion about lawyers without having knowledge about the legal system and prior knowledge,” Rout added.