Cuttack: The Orissa High court on Monday ordered Jharsuguda Collector Jyoti Ranjan Pradhan to be reinstated but to be posted in another capacity.
Pradhan was earlier suspended for defying the HC’s previous order relating to a liquor shop’s license matter in the district.
The division bench of Chief Justice KS Jhaveri and Justice KR Mohapatra recalled the order after the State Government moved a petition in this regard. Pradhan appeared in person and tendered an unconditional apology.
Following the orders of the High court, the Odisha Government also suspended Pradhan on August 14. However, allowing an application of the state government, the same bench headed by Chief Justice K S Jhaveri recalled its earlier order.
Notably, Jharsuguda Collector Jyoti Ranjan Pradhan had declared a valid licence holder as a defaulter and granted the licence to another person.
It may be mentioned that one K Bina Patnayak of Brajrajnagar was granted a licence for a foreign liquor shop in the town which was later closed down due to public protest. The district Excise authorities, however, issued him a demand notice for payment of licence fee and other arrears of over Rs 1 crore on March 1.
After Patnayak challenged the demand notice in court, the High Court on March 19 had issued an interim order prohibiting the administration from taking any coercive action against him. But Jharsuguda Collector issued an order declaring him a defaulter.
The Court directed for suspension of the Collector and asked the Secretary, Revenue Department to inquire into the non-compliance of the interim order that Court had issued on March 19.