Vigilance conducts searches at property of Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahy

The Vigilance's investigation revealed that Gopalpur MLA had made huge illegal gains as a public servant between May 24, 2009 and November 30, 2020.

Published: 17th October 2021 06:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th October 2021 06:10 PM   |  A+A-

Expelled BJD MLA Pradeep Panigrahy (File Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Vigilance sleuths on Sunday conducted searches at the property of expelled BJD leader and Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahy, his relatives and associates in connection with a case registered against him for allegedly amassing disproportionate assets amounting to Rs 5.05 crore.

"On the direction of the Lokayukta, a case was registered on October 4 to carry out a detailed probe into the matter. Searches are being carried out at 15 places in the State," said a senior Vigilance officer. The searches are led by Vigilance Cell SP, two Additional SPs, 17 DSPs and other officers.

On the allegation of accumulating assets illegally, the Directorate of Vigilance had conducted a secret verification of Panigrahy's property last year and lodged a complaint against him in the Lokayukta on December 9, 2020. In the complaint, the anti-corruption watchdog noticed that the legislator had amassed disproportionate assets and directed the Vigilance to launch an inquiry into the matter under Section 20(2) of Odisha Lokayukta Act, 2014.

The Vigilance's investigation revealed that Gopalpur MLA had made huge illegal gains as a public servant between May 24, 2009 and November 30, 2020. Vigilance officers then submitted an inquiry report to the Lokayukta on May 28, 2021.

The anti-corruption watchdog examined the report and the reply filed by Panigrahy and noted that there was prima facie case against him under Sections 13(2) 13(1)(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and directed the Vigilance to carry out an investigation into the matter. The Lokayukta also authorised the Vigilance to carry out searches under Section 26(1) of the Odisha Lokayukta Act as part of its investigation, following which a case was registered by the anti-corruption agency.

After six months imprisonment, Panigrahy was released from Special Jail in Jharpada on June 12 this year. The Orissa High Court had granted bail to Panigrahy in the last case related to a job scam registered against him in Golanthara police station in Ganjam district.


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