Ex-minister's son in net over dowry case

Ex-minister's son in net over dowry case

Raja Shree sent to two weeks custody on wifes complaint

Former Odisha law minister Raghunath Mohanty's son Raja Shree, arrested near Cuttack on Sunday for torturing his wife for dowry, was remanded to judicial custody for two weeks by a court here on Monday. Raja Shree was brought here and produced before sub-divisional judicial magistrate Ranjan Kumar Sutar, who rejected his bail plea and sent him to jail for 14 days.

Before being produced in court, the accused was interrogated by officers of Odisha Police's human rights protection cell, who arrested him after his wife Barsa Swony Choudhury filed a dowry torture case against him.

Barsha had filed two more FIRs at Balasore Town police station on March 14 against four other family members including Raghunath Mohanty, who had to resign as law and urban development minister the next day.

While Raghunath Mohanty refuted the allegations as false and baseless, the HRPC, which is probing the case, arrested his son after finding prima facie evidence against him, a senior police officer said.

An engineering graduate, Barsha has also accused Raja Shree of having extra-marital relations besides torturing her mentally and physically. Police have registered a case under relevant sections of IPC and Dowry Prohibition Act.

Asked if other family members, including Raghunath Mohanty, can be arrested, additional DG (HRPC) B K Sharma said an  appropriate action will be taken as per requirement.
“Our main focus is on the accused husband. We will proceed (in the case) according to proof,” said Sharma, adding that there was no need to take Mohanty on remand, but the HRPC may do so in future if required.

Raghunath Mohanty, whose arrest was demanded from various quarters, remained incommunicado. He has neither been seen at the Assembly nor at his residence since then and his mobile phone remained switched off.