Bhubaneswar: The arrested wife of a top
Maoist leader today countered Orissa government`s move to
confiscate her seized properties claiming that the assets were
not acquired through unlawful means.
Subhasree Das alias Mili Panda, wife of Sabyasachi
Panda alias Sunil, made a represntation with the Home
Secretary through her advocate Biswapriya Kanungo.
The Home Secretary on April 23 had served a notice to
Panda at Jharpada jail here asking her to make a written
representation on the matter relating to seizure of
properties from her posession during the arrest under the
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 in January.
The woman was further asked to present her case before
the home secretary failing which the matter would be decided
ex-parte, a senior home department official said quoting the
"We have sought the seizure list, copy of the order of
the director general of police granting permission to the
crime branch to seize properties based on which the government
made such a move to confiscate properties," her lawyer Kanungo
Panda`s lawyer also asked the police to return Rs 4,85,357, seized during her arrest on the night of January 15.
During the presentation before the home secretary,
Kanungo also argued that it was "illegal" on part of the
investigating agency to retain cash, seized from Panda`s
residence during her arrest, for more than 48 hours.
Crime Branch (CB) lawyer Chitaranjan Kanungo, however,
countered her argument stating that the investigating
agency retained cash on the permission granted by the home
secretary who was the designated authority of the case.
Panda`s lawyer also questioned the crime branch claim
to have seized the cash from her residence.
"It was not crime branch but the cops from Mancheswar
police station which seized cash and other things from Panda`s
house after her arrest," Kanungo claimed.
Rejecting Panda`s petition to grant one month period
to file a counter justifying her claim over the seized
property, the designated authority (home secretary), posted
the case to May 22 for next hearing, the crime branch advocate
Official sources described the step by the state
government to confiscate property of any person arrested under
the provision of the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act,
1967 as a maiden move, the first of its kind.