Apex court to hear plea on abducted Odisha legislator (Lead)April 18th, 2012 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court will Thursday hear a plea seeking restraint on the Odisha government from freeing 29 imprisoned suspected Maoists and their sympathisers in exchange for the release of ruling Biju Janata Dal’s legislator Jhina Hikaka, who was abducted by the rebels March 24.
The apex court bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra has asked Solicitor General Rohinton Nariman to appear in the matter. Petitioner Gagandeep Singh is a retired army officer and a counter-insurgency expert.
Even as counsel Rijesh Kalappa, appearing for the petitioner, sought the court direction restraining the state government from releasing the suspected Maoists from custody, the court asked if such matters could be managed judicially.
The petitioner said the court should “restrain the Odisha government from agreeing to the conditions imposed by means of blackmail by the Maoists to release their jailed cadre”.
Justice Thakur asked “Can this matter be managed judicially”.
Kalappa told the court that the apex court laid down the guidelines for dealing with the situation in the case of the kidnapping of late Kannada superstar Rajkumar by sandalwood smuggler Veerappan.
He said that the release of 29 prisoners, as sought by the Maoists, would mean more causalities of the security personnel who are fighting the rebels.
“The duty of the State was to protect the lives of the individuals and not to indulge in illegalities,” he said.
Kalappa told the court that these 29 suspected Maoists would apply for bail and state may not oppose it and then they would be set free.
Justice Thakur asked “what happens if the Maoists kill him (legislator), who will be responsible.”
The petitioner said that the swapping the abducted legislator with the jailed 29 suspected Maoists should be under the supervision of the apex court.
Justice Thakur said: “We can’t take over the government.”
Justice Misra in another observation asked what would happen if “suppose our intervention aggravates the situation”.
The court would next hear the petition Thursday.
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Tags: abducted, apex court, army officer, counter insurgency, court bench, court direction, court justice, gagandeep singh, gyan, janata, legislator, maoists, misra, petitioner, rajkumar, sandalwood smuggler, security personnel, solicitor general, sudha, thakur