BHUBANESWAR: A Vigilance court on Friday awarded three years’ rigorous imprisonment (RI) to senior IAS officer Vinod Kumar on charges of corruption. Along with Kumar, former executive director (technical) of Odisha Rural Housing and Development Corporation (ORHDC) Purna Chandra Dash was also handed out the same punishment. Special Judge, Vigilance, Bhubaneswar, also imposed a fine of `25,000 each on the duo failing which each would have to undergo RI for two months for the offences under Section 13 (2) of Prevention of Corruption Act.
The court also awarded threeyear RI each to Kumar and Dash along with a fine of `25,000 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 `25,000 on each of them, in default, to undergo RI for two months for the offence under Section 120 (B) of IPC. The sentences will run concurrently. A Vigilance court in July had convicted Kumar on charges of corruption and cheating during his tenure as managing director of ORHDC. The The Vigilance court 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 asked them to surrender before Vigilance court on August 10. Earlier, the Vigilance court had awarded three-year 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, in the same case.
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 `100 crores.