No end to Prashanta Naik`s plight in sight

The 1984-batch IAS officer has been placed under suspension since July 27, 2006 by the Orissa government as a criminal charge involving "moral turpitude" is pending trial against him in a CBI court in Bhubaneswar.

Cuttack: The Central Administrative
Tribunal (CAT) on Tuesday refused to grant any relief to the
suspended IAS officer Prashanta Kumar Naik.

The 1984-batch IAS officer has been placed under suspension
since July 27, 2006 by the Orissa government as a criminal
charge involving "moral turpitude" is pending trial against
him in a CBI court in Bhubaneswar.

The CBI court had taken cognisance of offences under
various sections of IPC against him in the sensational
Balasore sex scandal case of 1999.

Although, charges have not yet been framed against the
then science and technology department secretary, the trial
court had summoned him for a personal appearance on September
4, 2006.

But instead of appearing in the trial court, Naik
preferred an appeal in Orissa High Court which in turn kept
his personal appearance in lower court in abeyance, calling
for the lower court records in August 2006.

Since then, the matter is pending in Orissa High Court
and presumably there has been no further progress in the trial
proceeding of Naik before the CBI court.

"Since the matter is pending before the High Court,
we are not inclined to express any opinion thereby justifying
the suspension order of the applicant," said CAT
administrative member C R Mohapatra and judicial member A K
Patnaik in their judgement.

Entangled in the sex scandal, Naik, however, had
denied the allegation saying the charges were `motivated` and
aimed at defaming him at the behest of some officers in the
state.

Even the CBI which was entrusted to probe into the
matter had given a clean chit to Naik and the prosecution had
asked the designated court to close the case against Naik.

On a protest petition by social worker Prashanta Kumar
Das, the CBI court reopened the case against Naik and took
cognisance of the charges levelled against him.

PTI