Retd HC judge to probe assault on magistrate

Bhubaneswar: Former Odisha High Court judge A S Naidu was on Tuesday appointed as the judicial commissioner to probe the alleged assault on a first class judicial magistrate by police at Rourkela, official sources said.

"Retired Orissa High Court judge A S Naidu will head the judicial commission to probe the alleged assault on judicial magistrate Arun Patnaik. The commission will submit its report within three months," state Home Secretary U N Behera told reporters here.

Stating that the Commission would inquire into the circumstances under which the police assaulted the magistrate on April 2 night, Behera said the SP (Rourkela) Diptesh Patnaik has been asked to go on leave.

The Commission would also probe the involvement of police officers in the assault of Arun Patnaik, the first class judicial magistrate of Panposh.

Following a request from the state government, the High Court suggested the name of Justice Naidu to lead the panel.

Inspector at Uditnagar police station, Sadanand Pujari, who had been accused of assaulting the magistrate, had been placed under suspension.

Both Pujari and the magistrate had lodged FIRs following the alleged assault in the police station.

In his FIR, Patnaik had said that on the night of April 2 when he was watching World Cup victory celebration in front of his house, he was forcefully taken to the Uditnagar police station, abused and physically assaulted. SP Diptesh Patnaik also advised him to compromise, he complained.

Pujari, on the other hand, alleged in his FIR that the magistrate was drunk and was causing public nuisance on that night and obstructed him from performing his duties.

The Orissa government on April 4 announced a judicial inquiry into the alleged assault and suspended Pujari. The high court is also hearing a PIL pertaining to alleged police assault on a judicial magistrate in Rourkela.