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Odisha police book CBI officials after mistaken raid on HC judge’s residence

The Odisha High Court Bar Association, which described the incident as an “anti-social display of hooliganism and vulgarism”, struck work on Wednesday as a mark of protest.

india Updated: Sep 20, 2017 22:25 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Odisha police,Odisha high court,Chitta Ranjan Dash
Lawyers at the Odisha high court struck work to protest the attempted CBI raid on judge Chitta Ranjan Dash’s residence.(Pic for representational purposes)

Police on Wednesday lodged a case against a team of CBI sleuths who tried to enter the official residence of Orissa high court judge Chitta Ranjan Dash under the mistaken belief that it was still occupied by a former chief justice.

The probe agency had filed an FIR against former Orissa high court chief justice Ishrat Masroor Quddusi and seven others on Tuesday over their alleged involvement in a criminal conspiracy with a blacklisted medical college in Lucknow.

CBI officials tried to enter Quddusi’s erstwhile official quarters on Cuttack’s Cantonment Road, now occupied by justice Dash, while simultaneously conducting raids at his Greater Kailash house in New Delhi and Kanan Vihar residence in Bhubaneswar. However, even as they were trying to force their way into the premises, a passing PCR van took them into custody. Police later allowed the investigators leave, once their credentials were verified.

The Cuttack police lodged a case of criminal trespass against a few CBI officials after high court chief justice Vineet Saran issued a directive in this regard.

A livid justice Dash, who was not supposed to hear any cases on Wednesday, reportedly told an open court that CBI sleuths had tried to enter his official quarters. The Orissa High Court Bar Association struck work in protest soon afterwards, and convened an emergency general body meeting.

The lawyers’ body, which described the incident as an “anti-social display of hooliganism and vulgarism”, has demanded a judicial probe in the matter. “Strict action should be taken against the investigators who entered the judge’s house. They should be suspended, and departmental as well as criminal proceedings must be initiated against them,” said association vice president Kaliprasad Mishra.

They will meet again on Thursday to chart out their next course of action, he added.

The CBI clarified that its officials did not enter judge’s residence, and had only ventured as far as its gate.

Quddusi, who retired in 2012, was charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The case against the CBI officials comes a day after the central probe agency arrested Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Prabhat Biswal over his supposed involvement in the Seashore chit fund scam, sparking allegations that the central agency was being misused by the NDA government. Police had to baton-charge protesters and impose Section 144 of the CrPC in the area after BJD activists tried to picket the CBI office here.

First Published: Sep 20, 2017 22:16 IST