Odisha HC dismisses Lokayukta’s order for Vigilance probe against Pradeep Panigrahi

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court today dismissed the Lokayukta’s order of Vigilance probe against arrested Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi, informed Pitambar Acharya, the legislator’s lawyer.

The court in its ruling said that a complainant can not be the investigator in a quasi-judicial proceeding, said Acharya.

Panigrahi had moved the High Court challenging the order of the Lokayukta which had on December 11, last year directed the state Vigilance Directorate to investigate the corruption allegation levelled against him. The Lokayukta had asked the Vigilance to submit a report within two months after the preliminary investigation.

This was the first case of corruption allegation that has been referred to Odisha Lokayukta by the state government after its formation.

Odisha Crime Branch had arrested the MLA on December 3, last year in connection with a case registered with the Cyber police station. He was arrested under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 469, 471, 120-B of the IPC and Section 66C/66D of IT Act.

Evidence came to light that Panigrahi collected money from people on behalf of Akash Pathak, son of suspended IFS officer Abhay Pathak, on the false promise of providing jobs in Tata company. This case relates to impersonation, cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and other cyber offences by Akash Kumar Pathak, the Crime Branch  had earlier said.

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