Mahanga Double Murder Case In Odisha: BJD MLA Pratap Jena Granted 2 Weeks For Court Appearance

Cuttack: A court in Odisha’s Cuttack district has granted two weeks’ time to senior Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA and former Minister Pratap Jena, who failed to appear before it in connection with Mahanga double murder case citing health reason.

While granting the BJD legislator time in connection with a plea over his personal appearance, the court of JMFC in Salepur has scheduled next hearing in the case on November 18, sources said.

It may be noted here that Jena, who was summoned by the court to appear before it, failed to depose on Tuesday. On the other hand, the BJD MLA reportedly approached the Orissa High Court against the lower court’s order.

As per the summon served on him, Jena was to appear in Salepur JMFC court on Tuesday. However, citing health reasons, he was unable to attend in person. A petition under Section 205 of CRPC was filed by Jena in JMFC Court, Salepur seeking permission to attend the hearing through counsel without appearing in person.

It was stated in the petition, that Jena was being treated at Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar. He has been advised to take bed rest for one month. In such a situation, he requested to be exempted from personal appearance. Therefore, permission to appear in court through lawyers was requested.

A few days after taking cognisance of offences against the former law minister as an accused in the murder case, the court had on October 6 summoned him to appear before it on October 31 (Tuesday).

“After going through the statements of the complainant, witnesses, and other available materials on record, we found that a prima facie case punishable for the offences under Section 302, 506, 120 B of the Indian Penal Code is made against the accused namely Pratap Kumar Jena,” the court had said in its September 25 order.

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

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

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