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Probe panel wound up

Correspondent

Sequel to Supreme Court's judgment

Commission appointed to inquire into police firingApex court turns down government's appeal

CUTTACK: Justice A.S. Naidu Commission of Enquiry, probing the January 2, 2006 police firing at Kalinga Nagar in Jajpur district, was wound up on Saturday without completing its task.

In view of the Supreme Court's judgment, that sitting judges of High Court should not head judicial fact-finding panels, the Commission ceased to function midway into its inquiry.

"In view of the Supreme Court's judgment of April 9, 2007, the commission ceases to function from Saturday," Justice Naidu said in his order. The commission also directed the government advocate to put all the records relating to the Kalinga Nagar Commission of Enquiry to be kept in a sealed cover.

Justice Naidu, a sitting judge of High Court, was appointed in February 2006 by the State government to head the commission to probe into the police firing in which 12 tribals and a policeman were killed on the day of the incident and later two other tribals succumbed to bullet wounds.

20 sittings

After holding as many as 20 sittings for nearly ten months, the commission had suspended its proceedings in December last year in view of the Apex Court's observation in the case of University of Kerala Vs Council principal's college, Kerala, on continuance of sitting judges of High Courts as commission of enquiry in different states.

Although, the Orissa government had made an appeal to the Supreme Court to allow Justice Naidu to complete the probe as Kalinga Nagar incident was a matter of national interest and the commission was on the verge of completion of its enquiry, the Apex Court turned down the State government plea on April 9 this year.

State blamed

Lawyers conducting cases before the commission, however, blame the Orissa government for its failure to obtain any specific instruction from the Apex court, as Kalinga Nagar incident would definitely come under the matter of national importance.

"It was unfortunate that the entire exercise by the Commission and other lawyers has now gone in vain," says a lawyer appearing before the Naidu panel.

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