BHUBANESWAR: A Vigilance court on Friday awarded three years rigorous imprisonment (RI) each to senior IAS officer Vinod Kumar and former executive director (technical) of Odisha Rural Housing and Development Corporation (ORHDC) Purna Chandra Dash on charges of corruption.
Special Judge, Vigilance, Bhubaneswar, also imposed a fine of Rs 25, 000 each on the duo, in default, to undergo RI for two months each for the offense under Section 13 (2) of Prevention of Corruption Act. The court also awarded three years RI each to Kumar and Dash along with imposing a fine of Rs 25, 000 each on them, in default, to undergo RI for two months each for the offense under Section 420 of IPC.
Similarly, the court awarded three years RI each to the senior IAS officer and the former ORHDC executive director and imposed a fine of Rs 25, 000 each on them, in default, to undergo RI for two months each for the offense under Section 120 (B) of IPC. The sentences will run concurrently. A Vigilance court in July convicted Kumar on charges of corruption and cheating during his tenure as managing director of ORHDC.
The Special Judge, Vigilance, Bhubaneswar, had found Kumar and five others guilty in connection with the 2001 scam which ran into crores of rupees. Kumar was placed under suspension when the corruption charges were slapped against him in 2001. Later, he was reinstated. Currently, he is Officer On Special Duty with MSME Department. Orissa High Court had extended the relief granted to the convicted IAS officer and four others in the corruption case and had asked them to surrender before Vigilance court on August 10.
The Vigilance court had earlier awarded three years RI to former accounts officer of ORHDC Pradeep Kumar Rout, accountant (contractual) of ORHDC Chittaranjan Mallick, secretary of NGO, Gramya Vikas Manch, Ashis Kumar Nayak, and former assistant manager of ORHDC Sanjay Mohanty, on charges of corruption. The case dates back to 2001 when ORHDC had sanctioned loans to real estate firms and NGOs without conducting verification for housing reconstruction after the super cyclone. About a dozen cases were registered after it came to light that basic norms of inspection and verification were flouted in disbursal of the loans. The scam ran into over Rs 100 crores.