Orissa High Court rejected former law and urban development minister Raghunath Mohanty's plea to overturn the FIR lodged by his daughter-in-law against him and his family.
Mohanty had filed a writ petition under section 482 of CrPC. The HC also did not grant immunity to Mohanty and his family and asserted that any police action in this case will be deemed proper.
"Since the ingredients of offence under section 498-A and 506 of IPC are made out prima facie against the petitioners, the prayer to quash the proceedings against the petitioners is not maintainable. Hence the writ petition is dismissed," said Justice Raghuvir Dash in his verdict.
"Since the writ petition from which the miscellaneous case arises having been dismissed, this court is not inclined to give any direction (to the police) not to take any coercive action against the petitioner."
After this verdict police may arrest Mohanty.
Over a week ago, Mohanty's daughter-in-law Barsha Sony Mohanty alleged that she was tortured physically and mentally for dowry a few days into her marriage in June 2012. She claimed that ₹10 lakh worth of cash and jewellery were given as dowry, but her in-laws further demanded ₹25 lakh and a Scorpio car.
Following this, the BJD MLA submitted his resignation to Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Barsha filed the case against Mohanty, his wife Pritilata, son Rajasree and other members of the family, at Balasore police station.
Mohanty is an MLA from Batsa constituency in Balasore district and is in his fifth consecutive term. He also held important ministerial posts for Parliamentart Affairs, Steel and Mines, and Industries departments.