Odisha: Expelled BJD MLA Pradeep Panigrahi arrested on job fraud charges, sent to 14 days judicial custody

The Crime Branch of Odisha Police on Thursday arrested Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Kumar Panigrahy in connection with a case registered at the Cyber Police Station.

Evidence has come to light that Panigrahi collected money from people on behalf of Akash Kumar Pathak on the false promise of providing them jobs in Tata Company. “This case relates to impersonation, cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and other cyber offences by Akash Kumar Pathak, who identified himself as in-charge Managing Director of Tata Motors passenger car division,” a Crime Branch CID press release said.

While IFS Officer Abhay Pathak has been earlier arrested by Vigilance in disproportionate assets case, Pathak’s son Akash was arrested on fraud charges.

The Odisha government on Friday suspended Abhay Kant Pathak from service, hours after the anti-corruption wing arrested the 1987-batch Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer along with his son Akash on charges of accumulating massive “ill-gotten” wealth and leading a lavish lifestyle

Pathak’s disproportionate earnings were calculated at Rs 9.35 crore, about 435 per cent of known sources of his income. Cash deposits of Rs 9.48 crore and deposits by transfer/clearing of Rs 5.29 crore totalling Rs 14.77 crore were made in the three Bank accounts of Akash Kumar Pathak. The state Vigilance later referred Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate for probe.

They are presently lodged in judicial custody till December 9.

Abhay was posted as Additional PCCF, Plan Programme and Afforestation since June 2, 2018.

Panigrahi’s daughter’s marriage was fixed with Akash Pathak.

Notably, Panigrahi was expelled from BJD on Sunday on allegations doing anti-people activities by BJD.

Earlier, while justifying Pradeep Panigrahi’s expulsion from Party, BJD had alleged that at a time the Covid-19 situation was grave in Ganjam district putting lives and livelihoods of millions at risk, Pradeep Panigrahi was flying in charter planes and enjoying luxurious accommodations in cities like Mumbai and Pune. He was cheating people of his own constituency and taking bribe promising the unemployed youth to provide them jobs through Akash Kumar Pathak, BJD said.

On Thursday evening, Panigrahi was taken by Crime Branch sleuths from his quarters at Unit 6 area of the city to the agency’s office. The state police informed about his arrest around an hour after this development

According to the Crime Branch, Panigrahi was arrested under multiple sections 419/420/467/468/469/471/120-B IPC r/w sec 66 C/66 D of IT Act 2000 as there is sufficient prima facie evidence against him in this case.

Panigrahi was sent to Jharpada Jail after the court rejected his bail application on Thursday night.

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