Who is Justice AK Patnaik? The man who gave wings to ‘caged parrot’ to head inquiry against Alok Verma

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Updated: October 27, 2018 12:29:54 PM

With top two officers of CBI engaged in an unprecedented feud, the apex court Friday appointed Justice A K Patnaik to head Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) inquiry into allegations against the CBI director levelled by his deputy, Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

Born in 1949 in Orissa, Justice Patnaik had joined Supreme Court in 2009 where he gave some remarkable judgements in his five-year tenure. (Source: The Indian Express)

With top two officers of CBI engaged in an unprecedented feud, the apex court Friday appointed Justice A K Patnaik to head Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) inquiry into allegations against the CBI director levelled by his deputy, Special Director Rakesh Asthana. Justice Patnaik has been part of many important judicial committees and benches that have adjucated on important matters. “We make it clear that entrustment of supervision of on-going enquiry by the CVC to a former judge of this court is one-time exception which has been felt necessary by this court in the peculiar facts of this case and should not be understood to be casting any reflection on any authority of the Government of India,” said the Supreme Court bench while announcing the appointment on Patnaik.

Here is all you need to know about Justice Ananga Kumar Patnaik, who once was a member of constitution bench that is credited with giving new wings to the ‘caged parrot’ –

– Born in 1949 in Orissa, Justice Patnaik had joined Supreme Court in 2009 where he gave some remarkable judgements in his five-year tenure. He was superseded five times during 2007-09 before his elevation to the apex court on November 17, 2009.

– Justice Patnaik, who was the Supreme Court judge from November 2009 till June 2014, was a member of the five-judge Constitution bench which is credited for giving new wings to the “caged parrot” by striking down the legal provisions that made prior permission mandatory for the CBI for acting against senior officers in graft cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The bench, headed by former CJI R M Lodha had struck down Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act. The provision mandates the CBI to take prior permission of the government before investing an officer of the rank of joint secretary and above in corruption cases.

Also read | Retired judge A K Patnaik who gave wings to ‘caged parrot’ to supervise CVC probe against CBI chief

– In March 2014, Justice Patnaik ordered the then BCCI chief N Srinivasan to move out. In a strongly worded observation, the Justice Patnaik-headed bench had said that Srinivasan continuing as BCCI Chief was “nauseating.” He had also ordered Srinivasan to immediately step down to ensure a fair probe into the alleged spot-fixing scandal involving cricketers and his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan.

– During his tenure as Supreme Court judge, Justice Patnaik was a part of the special two-judge bench, constituted by the then CJI S H Kapadia for hearing all cases arising out of the 2G spectrum matter in March 2012. Justice Patnaik was also a member of a Supreme Court bench that in April 2014 allowed resumption of mining in Goa but with an annual cap of 20 million tonnes of iron ore extraction.

– Justice Patnaik was also a member of the ‘in-house committee’ constituted in 2011 by the then CJI K G Balakrishnan to investigate allegations of corruption against Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court. The committee had found Justice Sen guilty and recommended proceedings for his removal.

– Justice Patnaik was the member of bench which had acquitted all six accused in the 2002 Akshardham temple attack in Ahmedabad. He was part of the two-member Supreme Court bench which had commuted the death sentence of the American Centre attack mastermind Aftab Ansari and Jamulludin Nasir.

Also read | CBI battle in SC: CJI bench sets deadline for CVC probe against Verma, restrains interim chief from taking major decisions

– In one of the landmark judgements, a two-judge bench consisting of Justices Patnaik and S J Mukhopadhaya, in July 2013, had struck down Section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act, which protected MPs, MLAs and other legislators during pending appeals against their convictions.

– Justice Patnaik was also the member of a Constitution bench that ruled that a government cannot impose a language, including the mother tongue, as the only medium of instruction for primary education.

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