HC Reserves Order on Odisha MLA Pratap Jena’s Petition in Mahanga Double Murder Case

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Monday reserved its verdict on a petition filed by senior BJD MLA and former Minister Pratap Jena in connection with the Mahanga double murder case.

Jena contested a lower court’s decision, seeking the annulment of the order that recognized him as an accused in the case. The High Court, after hearing Jena’s plea, reserved the verdict. Jena had earlier received interim protection from the High Court against coercive action in the case.

The lower court, JMFC Salipur, had on September 24, 2023, acknowledged offences against Jena under sections 302, 506, and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Jena challenged this order on jurisdictional grounds on October 31, 2023, leading to the current proceedings.

The incident dates back to January 2, 2021, when BJP leader Kulamani Baral and his associate Dibyasingh Bara were brutally murdered near Jankoti village in Mahanga tehsil. The main accused, Prafulla Biswal, was later found dead under suspicious circumstances in Tangi district.

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