Dowry case: Ex-Odisha minister son's bail hearing deferred



Balasore (Odisha): A local court on Thursday once again deferred hearing of the bail petition of dowry torture accused Raja Shree Mohanty, the son of former minister Raghunath Mohanty, till Friday.

District Sessions Judge V Jayashree adjourned the hearing as Raja Shree's lawyer today again sought time to furnish some documents relating to the bail application.

The judge, who took up the bail petition under Section 439 of CrPC, had yesterday adjourned the proceedings following a time petition filed by the petitioner and the matter was posted for today.

However, the lawyers representing Raja Shree sought time again today before the judge.

"A time petition for furnishing required documents pertaining to the bail application was granted by the court," said Niranjan Panda, the Raja Shree's advocate.

Raja Shree, who was arrested by the Human Rights Protection Cell on March 17 near Cuttack for allegedly torturing his wife for dowry, was produced before the SDJM court on March 18 and remanded to judicial custody at Balasore for 14 days after his bail plea was rejected by the court.

His subsequent bail applications on March 21 and 25 were also rejected and on March 30 his remand period in the judicial custody was extended to further 14 days by the court. Raja Shree's bail petitions had been rejected on the ground that other accused persons had not been arrested by that time.

The ex-minister and his wife, who were arrested, spent three nights in jail before being released on bail on Tuesday.

Raghunath Mohanty, his wife Pritilata and son Raja Shree were arrested on the basis of an FIR lodged by Raja Shree's wife Barsa Swony Choudury on March 14.

Two other accused - Mohanty's daughter Rupashree and son-in-law Subhendu Madhual - are yet to be traced. Barsa, who had married Raja Shree in June last year, had accused his family members in her FIR of demanding Rs 25 lakh and a luxury vehicle as dowry and torturing her physically and mentally.

Mohanty, who resigned from Naveen Patnaik's ministry on March 15 following the dowry torture case, was subsequently removed as vice president from the ruling BJD.

Meanwhile, Mohanty's wife Pritilata has been suspended from the post of secretary, Regulatory Marketing Committee (RMC), Jaleswar in Balasore district after she was jailed in the dowry torture case, official sources said.

HRPC police yesterday seized some dowry items from Mohanty's residence in Balasore.

PTI