HC Reserves Verdict On Odisha MLA Pratap Jena’s Plea Against Lower Court Order In Mahanga Double Murder Case

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court reserved its verdict on senior BJD MLA and former Minister Pratap Jena’s petition challenging a lower court’s order in the sensational Mahanga double murder case.

After concluding hearing on Jena’s petition, the single judge bench of Justice Gourishankar Satapathy on Monday reserved the verdict. The former Law Minister in his petition had sought quashing of the order of the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Salipur that had taken cognisance of offences against him as an accused in the murder case.

The High Court had earlier extended the interim protection to the legislator from coercive action in the sensational Mahanga double murder case.

The JMFC’s order issued on September 24, 2023 said, “After going through the statements of the complainant, witnesses, and other available materials on record, it found that a prima facie case punishable for the offences under sections 302, 506, 120 B of the Indian Penal Code is made against the accused Pratap Jena.”

The BJD legislator had filed the petition on October 31, 2023, challenging the order on grounds of jurisdiction. Jena was initially granted the interim protection till December 19, 2023, and the order was subsequently extended while hearing his petition on different dates.

On January 2, 2021, BJP leader Kulamani Baral (75), who was the block chairman of Mahanga, and his associate Dibyasingh Bara (80), were hacked to death by unidentified miscreants near Jankoti village in Odisha’s Mahanga tehsil while returning home on a motorcycle.

The prime accused, Prafulla Biswal, was also found dead under mysterious circumstances near Govindpur in Tangi of the district later.

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