No end to Prashanta Naik''s plight in sight

Cuttack, Feb 8 (PTI) The Central AdministrativeTribunal (CAT) here today refused to grant any relief to thesuspended IAS officer Prashanta Kumar Naik.

The 1984-batch IAS officer is placed under suspensionsince July 27, 2006 by the Orissa government as a criminalcharge involving "moral turpitude" is pending trial againsthim in a CBI court in Bhubaneswar.

The CBI court had taken cognisance of offences undervarious sections of IPC against him in the sensationalBalasore sex scandal case of 1999.

Although, charges have not yet been framed against thethen science and technology department secretary, the trialcourt had summoned him for a personal appearance on September4, 2006.

But instead of appearing in the trial court, Naikpreferred an appeal in Orissa High Court which in turn kepthis personal appearance in lower court in abeyance, callingfor the lower court records in August 2006.

Since then, the matter is pending in Orissa High Courtand presumably there has been no further progress in the trialproceeding of Naik before the CBI court.

"Since the matter is pending before the High Court �,we are not inclined to express any opinion thereby justifyingthe suspension order of the applicant," said CATadministrative member C R Mohapatra and judicial member A KPatnaik in their judgement.

Entangled in the sex scandal, Naik, however, haddenied the allegation saying the charges were ''motivated'' andaimed at defaming him at the behest of some officers in thestate.

Even the CBI which was entrusted to probe into thematter had given a clean chit to Naik and the prosecution hadasked the designated court to close the case against Naik.

On a protest petition by social worker Prashanta KumarDas, the CBI court reopened the case against Naik and tookcognisance of the charges levelled against him.

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