05 December 2018
Cuttack: A day after Odisha Government accepted jailed journalist Abhijit Iyer Mitra’s appeal for granting him pardon and the State Home Department withdrew all the cases registered against him for his anti-Odisha remarks, Orissa High Court today granted him bail.
Abhijit has been languishing in jail and recently admitted to Capital Hospital due to deteriorating health condition.
Two separate cases were registered against him at Konark Police Station in Puri district and Saheed Nagar Police Station under the Bhubaneswar Commissionerate of Police. He had been arrested in October by the Saheed Nagar Police. Later, he had been taken on remand by the Konark Police in Puri district for interrogation. As his bail plea was rejected by the respective District Courts, he is in judicial custody since then.
Initially, he had been arrested by Odisha Police at Delhi with the help of Nizamuddin Police Station, but Saket Court had granted him bail on the very day of his arrest. However, the court had ordered him to appear before Konark Police Station and cooperate with the investigation.
Despite the lower court’s order, he had not appeared and had knocked the door of Supreme Court where his bail plea had got rejected following which he had to come over to Odisha where he got arrested soon after he deposed before Odisha Assembly House Committee for Breach of Privilege slapped against him for his derogatory remarks against the MLAs. However, the House Committee had accepted his apology and exonerated him of the charges on November 16.
Notably, the Odisha Government yesterday decided to withdraw cases against Delhi-based journalist Abhijit Iyer Mitra. Iyer had appealed to the Government to consider his unconditional apology for hurting sentiments of Odisha "without having malice or mal-intent".
Accordingly, the State Home Department yesterday issued a notification that stated, "Taking into account his representation, the Government has decided not to accord sanction of prosecution in cases where prosecution has been sought for and also decided to withdraw other cases pending against him following laid-down procedures."
The senior scribe is a Delhi-based defence analyst and was arrested by the Odisha Police on October 23.