Odisha Govt Suspends Jharsuguda Collector Jyoti Ranjan Pradhan

Jharsuguda: Odisha government on Wednesday suspended Jharsuguda district Collector Jyoti Ranjan Pradhan for scrapping licence of a liquor shop by defying a Orissa High Court’s ruling.

ADM Pradip Sahu has now taken over as the additional charge of the new district Collector in place of the suspended Pradhan. Sources said, Sahu will remain as the head of the district authority until further orders are passed.

Hearing on an allegation of defying the High Court ruling in connection with the cancellation of a liquor shop’s licence, a bench comprising Chief Justice K.S Jhaveri and Justice K.R. Mohapatra had directed the State government to take action against the Collector.

This apart, the Court has asked the government to conduct an inquiry into the matter by the Revenue Secretary. Next hearing into the case has been scheduled on August 27.

The High Court’s directive came on the basis of a petition filed by one K. Bina Patnaik who had alleged that the Jharsuguda Collector violated the court’s interim order on March 19, 2019.

According to reports, Patnaik had acquired licence from the Excise Department to open a liquor shop. However, while he could not open the wine shop owing to protests by the locals, the excise officials had demanded tax from him, following which he had moved the Orissa High Court.

The court after conducting hearing in the case on March 19 this year had issued notice to the State government and pronounced an interim order banning it from taking action against the petitioner. However, going against the court ruling, the Jharsuguda Collector had directed for cancellation of the liquor shop’s licence on April 25.