Former director general of Orissa police and now an special secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs, Prakash Mishra has filed a petition in Orissa High Court seeking quashing of the FIR by state vigilance police over his alleged role in favouring some steel and cement suppliers to the tune of Rs 59 crore during his stint in Orissa Police Housing and Welfare Corporation.
Hearing his case today, the court told the Orissa government why it was victimising an honest officer.
Mishra, a 1977-batch officer, was chairman-cum-managing-director of OPHWC between 2006 and 2009, in the rank of additional DGP.
On September 20, the Bhubaneswar vigilance division had registered a case against Mishra under section 13(2) and 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and section 409 and 120-B of Indian Penal Code alleging that advance payment of Rs 59 crore was given some steel and cement suppliers in 2009 against existing rules. Director of vigilance KB Singh said a special audit was done which faulted Mishra.
Mishra, who was DG of Orissa police between July 2012 and July 2014 and efficiently controlled the Maoist menace in southern Orissa, however had an uneasy equation with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The CM was reportedly unhappy with the officer refusing to help his party in the last assembly election.
Sources said Mishra, who had rubbished the FIR alleging it a conspiracy to prevent him from being shortlisted for the post of next director of CBI later this year, has filed a criminal miscellaneous petition in High Court last week seeking quashing of the FIR and the corresponding criminal proceeding. The case is likely to come up for hearing in the court of HC judge justice SC Parija on Monday.
After the FIR was filed, Mishra had sarcastically asked if the government found him ‘extremely corrupt’ between 2006 and 2009, why did it bring him back from central deputation to make state police chief in June 2012.
“A case is made as if I ran away with the money. Even when I became DGP, no one ever asked me to explain the alleged irregularities. If the vigilance officials conducted an inquiry before lodging the FIR, then I should have been asked to explain. What sort of inquiry is this,” he had told The Indian Express.
Mishra’s contention was allegation of financial misdemeanour was way off the mark as supplies have been received in lieu of advance given to steel and cement suppliers. “Advance is permissible under vigilance department rules. Only in a few cases the accounts have to be reconciled. Adjustment was a continuous process. The CAG in its report has also stressed of reconciling the accounts. In any case, it was the duty of my successors to reconcile the accounts or call me if there was any anomaly. Why wait for five years,” he asked.