Naveen for lawful action in Speaker's criminal case

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Bhubaneswar, Mar 30 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said whatever is lawful will be done in the criminal case filed against Speaker Maheswar Mohanty on the complaint lodged by Assembly lady Assistant Marshal Gayatri Panda.

The Chief Minister on his return from New Delhi told newspersons at his residence that he understood that an FIR had been filed and a case registered against Mr Mohanty.

'' We always stand for proper and lawful action.'' he said.

The police yesterday formally registered a criminal case against Mr Mohanty under section 506 (criminal intimidation), 507 (criminal intimidation by anonymous communication), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 34 of the IPC (act by several persons with some common intention).

In her complaint, Ms Panda alleged that since the past few months, the Speaker had been sexually harassing her and was mentally tortured as he repeatedly sent her obscene pictures and tried to persuade her to maintain sexual relations with him.

Ms Panda said though she had informed the Assembly Secretary twice about it, no action was taken against Mr Mohanty so far.

The Speaker, however, rubbished the allegations saying that Ms Panda levelled the charges against him after he initiated disciplinary action against her. Dubbing the allegation as ''false and baseless'', Mr Mohanty said a 'deep conspiracy' was going on against him and several influential people were involved in it.

The Chief Minister said the Speaker had suggested for a House Committee to look into the matter but the opposition members did not agree.''Let us see what happens.',he remarked'' When asked about the alleged role of Information and Public Relations Minister Debasis Nayak in the case, Mr Patnaik said he would certainly look into the matter.

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