Odisha Lokayukta directs Vigilance to probe Pradeep Panigrahi’s graft case

Bhubaneswar: Accepting recommendation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Odisha Lokayukta today directed the state Vigilance Directorate to investigate the corruption allegation levelled against expelled BJD leader and Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi.

The Lokayukta asked the Vigilance to submit a report within two months after the preliminary investigation.

On December 7, the CM had recommended the Lokayukta for a probe into the corruption charges against Panigrahi, who is currently lodged at Jharpada jail after his bail plea was rejected by Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) Court on December 3. 

It is pertinent to mention here that 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 former Minister on December 3 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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