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Guilty, but no penalty
- Rap for police officers; setback for promotion norms

Cuttack, Dec. 25: Two police officers have been held guilty of contempt of court for misbehaving with a sitting judge of the high court four months ago. They have not been punished however.

The two police officers — Alekh Chandra Pahi (then inspector-in-charge of Madhupatna police station) and Ranjan Kumar Naik (then assistant sub-inspector of Badambadi outpost) had intercepted a vehicle of Justice Pradip Mohanty near the Badambadi bus terminus in Cuttack on the night of August 22.

Although Justice Mohanty, who was travelling with his family in his private car, introduced himself during the checking, both the police officers allegedly misbehaved with him. Later, the matter was communicated to senior police officials who rushed to the site and intervened into the matter.

A two-judge bench of Orissa High Court comprising Justice B.P. Das and Justice Sanju Panda yesterday held the two police officers guilty of lowering the authority of the court, but declined to award any punishment to them.

The bench instead warned Alekh Chandra Pahi of punishment if he is caught again for any misbehaviour within two years and admonished Ranjan Kumar Naik for abetting the incident.

On August 23, the high court had taken suo motu cognisance of the alleged incident and initiated the contempt case.

While initiating the contempt case, the high court had earlier directed the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) of Cuttack to produce the two “erring” police officers before it. Both were produced before the two-judge bench and later released on bail.

The Orissa High Court Bar Association had strongly condemned the alleged misbehaviour of the police officers towards the sitting judge and demanded exemplary action against the two police officers.

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