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Dowry case: Raghunath Mohanty quits as Odisha Law Minister

Mar 15, 2013 09:36 AM IST Politics Politics

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Law Minister Raghunath Mohanty resigned from his position on Friday after his daughter-in-law filed a dowry case against him, his wife Pritilata, son Rajasree and other family members. Raghunath Mohanty met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and submitted his resignation.

"I have submitted my resignation to the Chief Minister on moral grounds," Mohanty told reporters outside Naveen Nivas, while refuting the charges levelled by Barsha Sony Mohanty, his daughter-in-law.

A dowry case was filed against Raghunath Mohanty by his daughter-in-law Barsha Sony Mohanty. In her complaint at the Balasore police station, she alleged that she was physically and mentally abused by her in-laws for dowry a few days after her marriage in June 2012. She alleged that her in-laws demanded Rs 25 lakh and a Scorpio car from her family.

A case has been registered against the minister and others under section 498 (A), 506, 448 and 34 of IPC on the basis of the complaint lodged by Barsha, police said. In her FIR, the woman said she married Rajasree on June 24, 2012. During marriage, her parents had given Rs 10 lakh and other household articles.

She further alleged in the FIR that she was shocked over the attitude of her mother-in-law and brought the matter to the notice of her husband and the minister father-in-law. However, both her husband and father-in-law suggested that Barsha bring more dowry as demanded by the mother-in-law.

Barsha, who has now being staying at her parents house due to alleged torture, claimed that there was an attempt to kidnap and kill her on March 13. However, Barsha said she survived as other members of her family reached the place while some unknown people were about to abduct her.

The minister had refuted the allegation saying it was a conspiracy against him. He, however, had said he was ready to quit if asked to.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, he had said, "Let the investigation be complete, people will know the truth. If the Chief Minister asks me to, I am willing to resign."

The police are now investigating the complaint registered by Mohanty's daughter-in-law.

Mohanty, MLA for fifth consecutive term, had been a minister since 2000 and held important portfolios including parliamentary affairs, industries and IT.

(With additional information from PTI)