The Supreme Court today sought the centre's and the Odisha government's responses on a petition seeking to restrain the release of jailed Maoists in exchange for captive BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka. A bench of justice T S Thakur and justice Gyan Sudha Misra asked for a reply within two weeks from the respondents.
The apex court initially showed disinclination to issue any notices, but gave in after counsel for Maj Gen (retd) Gangurdep Bakshi persisted with the plea.
According to the petitioner, already five Maoists had been released by the Odisha government yesterday to facilitate the release of the abducted MLA.
In response to questions, the counsel said that the bail applications for the release of the Maoists had been moved on their behalf by their supporters and the state government allowed it to go ahead.
The court remarked at the stage, "if that is so the scope of our interference is very limited. But you can go to the magistrate's court and challenge it."
The counsel, however persisted arguing that at least notices be issued to the state and the centre on the issue, following which the bench relented.