Bank staff held for accepting bribe on behalf of IAS officer in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Vigilance sleuths of Odisha Police have arrested a bank relationship manager who allegedly accepted bribe on behalf of IAS officer Bijay Ketan Upadhyaya.

The bureaucrat was arrested from his office soon after Santosh Kumar Pattnayak, the relationship manager of Bapuji Nagar branch of YES Bank here, was apprehended in front of his office while accepting the bribe from a sprinkler irrigations systems supplier on Monday, a vigilance statement said.

The bank personnel had been receiving bribes from different companies, dealers and suppliers on behalf of the 2009-batch IAS officer, the statement said.
Following the development, the Odisha government placed Upadhyaya under suspension with immediate effect.

The senior IAS officer was the director of state horticulture department.

Pattnayak had received the bribe of Rs 1 lakh on behalf of the bureaucrat from the representative of SRM Plastochem Private Ltd. for approving payment of Rs 50 lakh to the company, the statement said.

SRM Plastochem Private Ltd is an empanelled supplier under Directorate of Horticulture for supply of sprinklers to eligible farmers in Odisha under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).

As per the procedure, after supply of micro irrigation systems to eligible farmers, deputy director of horticulture of districts prepares bills after field verification and forwards the same to the director of horticulture for final approval and payment.

After approval by the director of horticulture, payments are released to the account of the supplier. “For approving the payment of Rs 50 lakh to SRM
Plastochem Pvt. Ltd, Bijay Ketan Upadhyaya, Director Horticulture, had demanded part of the payment amount as bribe from the complainant, the authorised representative of the company after the payment was credited to the account of the company,” the statement said.

The IAS officer had directed the company to pay the bribe to Pattnayak, the relationship manager of the private bank, the statement said.

After getting tip off that the IAS officer was taking bribes from people, the vigilance wing had laid a trap and Santosh Kumar Pattnayak was caught by vigilance officers while accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh in front of YES Bank, at Bapuji Nagar in Bhubaneswar, it said.

The bribe amount was recovered from the pocket of Pattnayak’s trousers, an officer said. The bureaucrats office, residence and ancestral home
at Balasore were searched by the anti-corruption agency officials following his arrest.

Searches were also conducted at the houses of some relatives of the IAS officer and Pattnayak in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Balasore, the official said.
Searches were conducted at 11 different locations and over 100 vigilance officers were deployed for the operation, the statement said.

A team comprising chartered accountant, bank officer and officers of the cyber cell were assisting the police in investigation, the statement said.

The vigilance has registered a case against the IAS officer under the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 1988.

“Transparency is an important pillar of this government and we will not spare anyone indulging in any corrupt practices,” a press note from the chief ministers
office said.

Meanwhile, Upadhyaya’s father claimed that his son has been trapped “as part of a conspiracy”.


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