Bhubaneswar: Accusing the Law minister and some BJD MLAs of having strong links with disgraced Assistant Director in the Department of Factories (Medical) Dr Motilal Gouda, former Law minister and Leader of Opposition (LoP) Narasingha Mishra today demanded an independent inquiry to determine on whose recommendation Gouda was appointed to key post despite being marked 'absconding' in the records of the Health department.
Mishra alleged that the Crime Branch of Odisha Police, which was asked by the Chief Minister to investigate the matter, is not moving in the right direction and demanded that the minister and legislators of the ruling party should be brought under the purview of the probe.
Talking to media persons here, Mishra said, “The Motilal Gouda case proves how corrupt the Naveen Patnaik’s government is. It is the media that has revealed how the ruling party is protecting corrupt people. It is unfortunate that a minister and several ruling party MLAs and leaders are involved in this. The Crime Branch is not investigating in that direction.”
“Due to the lack of independent probe agency in the State, the CBI should take charge the case or a special investigation team (SIT) should be set up under judicial supervision,” he added.
Expressing similar views, BJP MLA Radha Rani Panda said, “Minister Arun Sahoo and BJD students’ wing president Byamokesh Ray are involved in the case. Without the help of these politicians, he (Gouda) could not have succeeded in getting the things done” adding the chief minister should direct the inquiry team to look into this nexus too.
Clarifying that the probe will include identifying the person whose recommendation sealed Gouda's appointment, Samir Das, BJD spokesperson, said, “The chief minister will take necessary decision in this regard once the probe finds out the truth.”
Notably, on November 17, 2015, the State government had removed 408 medical officers from government service for remaining ‘absent from duty for a long period unauthorisedly and willfully.’ Gouda’s name had appeared in the list at serial number 355.
Curiously, Gouda was working as the Assistant director in the Department of Factories (Medical), which functions under the Labour department, when he was sacked and continued to do so till a scam perpetrated by him sealed his fate.
A month before being sacked by the Health department, Gouda allegedly issued a fake notification asking industries in the state to get the health check-ups of their staff done at one of the five 'empanelled' pathology laboratories. Based on this notification, he even managed to sign a contract worth Rs 63 lakh with Navaratna PSU Nalco and was in the process of signing another contract worth Rs 1.02 crore when his game was up.