Use of phone in court by jailed ex-MLA raises eyebrows

Bhubaneswar: Eyebrows were raised when chit fund scam accused and ex-MLA of Keonjhar Subarna Nayak was seen talking on his mobile phone for a long time within the premises of a court here today.

An accused in Nabadiganta chit fund scam and currently lodged in Jharpada jail, Nayak was to be produced before the sub-divisional judicial magistrate (SDJM) in a routine court appearance. But before being produced in the court, Nayak was seen speaking on mobile phone for a long time.

The incident raised about how an under trail prisoner (UTP) could access a mobile phone and about security arrangements in court premises when UTPs are produced.

Speaking on the incident, Police Commissioner RP Sharma said, “It is the responsibility of the officers on duty to produce the UTP in the court in time and ensure no laxity in security. If any deviation is found, then administrative action will be taken against members of the escort party or any officials directly or indirectly involved in it.”

Asked if any standard operating procedure (SOP) is followed during such depositions, he said, “We have directed the DCPs of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar urban police districts (UPDs) to keep a tab on the escort parties through supervisory officers so that no deviation from set rules and regulations is allowed. Besides, it is also their lookout to ensure that the UTPs are lodged back in their respective jails after deposition,”

Meanwhile ADG, (Prisons) S Narvane has criticised the Commissionerate police for not taking action in the matter.

“No prisoner is allowed to use mobile phones and the onus is on the escort party to check whether the former is facilitated with a phone by the family members or anybody else. If such cases come to notice, then concerned district police must take action against the erring officials. In case of any violation of the stipulated rules, the Commissionerate police may also take action against them,” Narwane said.