Bhubaneswar: The noose seems to be tightening around former Odisha Minister and Mahanga MLA Pratap Kumar Jena as a court in Cuttack district has directed to continue with the prosecution as a punishable case is made out against him in a double murder case.
While adjudicating a protest petition by the son of slain BJP leader, the court delivered the judgement which is all set to put the BJD strongman in further trouble.
The Salipur JMFC court found that a prima facie case punishable for the offences under Sections 302, 506 and 120 (B) of the IPC is made out against Jena.
The JMFC court, in its judgment, said the case record be transferred to the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge-cum-Special Court in Bhubaneswar for disposal in accordance with the law as Jena is a member of Odisha Assembly.
BJP leader and former chairman of Mahanga Panchayat Samiti Kulamani Baral (75) and his aide Dibyasingh Baral (80) were hacked to death near Jankoti village in Mahanga area of Cuttack district on January 2, 2021.
Kulamani was reportedly raising the issue of a few ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders’ alleged involvement in the misappropriation of funds under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
The police had booked Jena, then Law Minister, and 12 others in the double murder case on the basis of an FIR lodged by Kulamani’s son Ranjit Kumar Baral.
However, Jena’s name was subsequently dropped from the charge sheet.
Hearing a petition filed by Kulamani’s son, the Salipur JMFC court had earlier directed the police to probe the allegations regarding the Mahanga MLA’s involvement in the case.
The court had directed the police to submit the call detail records (CDRs) of three accused in the case.
The court sought the CDRs of accused Sarat Nayak, Bapi Biswal and Prafulla Biswal. Sarat was the Chairman of Mahanga Panchayat Samiti in 2021 while Bapi was Jena’s representative in his constituency.
Prafulla Biswal, the main accused in the case, died in a road accident in February, 2021.