HC rejects plea for CBI probe into liquor tragedy

Cuttack: The High Court today turned down a plea for a CBI inquiry into the liquor tragedy that claimed 40 lives in Cuttack and Khurda districts last February.

Dismissing a PIL filed by the Nationalist Lawyers` Forum, the Division Bench of the High Court headed by Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda observed that since a judicial inquiry was on, there was no need for ordering any other independent investigation into the matter at this stage.

The high court, however, allowed one of the pleas of the petitioner asking the state government to include the families of the deceased in any welfare scheme of the government for rehabilitation.

The high court appreciated the steps taken by the government in providing timely and proper treatment to the victims. At least 120 persons of five neighbouring villages in Cuttack and Khurda districts were taken ill after drinking spurious liquor of whom 40 died.

The then excise minister and senior BJD leader A U Singh Deo had resigned owning moral responsibility.