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My brother not above law, says Dharmendra Pradhan




 A day after the vigilance wing of the Odisha Police registered a criminal case against Soumendra Pradhan, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said his brother was not above the law.

"No one including my brother is above the law. The law should take its own course in this case too," Pradhan, the union minister of state for petroleum and natural gas, said here.

The vigilance wing had yesterday registered a case against four persons including the union minister's brother on the charge of black marketing of cooking gas.

A case was registered under sections of the IPC and Indian Explosive Act.

Stating that petrol pumps and gas agencies deal with essential commodities and come under the Essential Commodities Act, he said the state government has the responsibility of implementing the act.

"The state government has the rights to undertake raids. As the minister of the petroleum and natural gas department, I would like to say that action should be taken if it feels that wrong has been committed by my brother or whosoever it is," Pradhan said.

Asked whether the vigilance raids were conducted to counter the recent CBI raids at the houses of some ruling BJD leaders in the chit fund scam, Pradhan said "A lot of money belonging to the poor has been looted in the chit fund scam. The CBI inquiry is being monitored by Supreme Court. The investigating agency is doing its job.

"No one can influence or stop it. If there is anyone who believes, investigating agencies can be manipulated, they are grossly mistaken.

"They (BJD) can make any allegation they want. Those who have committed mistakes have reasons to be afraid of an investigation. More than the timing of investigation, what matters is if they will be taken to a logical conclusion. This case being a Supreme Court monitored investigation, is being neither conducted only in Odisha nor happening for the first time," Pradhan said.

Soumendra Pradhan has reportedly moved the Orissa High Court seeking anticipatory bail after the vigilance department registered a criminal case against him.






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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