The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the Orissa government's plea for continuing with Justice Surayanarayan Naidu as chairman of the Commission of Inquiry probing the infamous Kalinganagar massacre.
This was the massacre in which 15 farmers fighting against acquisition of their lands were allegedly killed by police.
A Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and D K Jain rejected the plea in tune with the apex court's earlier ruling that no sitting judge of the High Court or apex court could be asked to probe an inquiry commission unless the situation was extremely compelling.
The apex court had at that time also sought response from the state governments on dispensing with the practice of appointing sitting judges of the High Courts and apex court to head probe panels.
Despite the Supreme Court's order, the Orissa government went ahead with appointment of Justice Naidu, a sitting judge of the Orissa High Court to inquire into the circumstances leading to the killing of 15 persons in alleged indiscriminate firing by police personnel.
The killings occurred on January 1, 2006 after police opened fire on the victims who were protesting against the acquisition of their lands by the government, which wanted to facilitate the setting up of an aluminium plant by a corporate group.
Orissa had filed an interim application urging the apex court to allow it continue with Justice Naidu, for completing the probe.
However, the apex court found no merit in the Orissa government's plea and hence dismissed the same.