Vigilance court acquits Odisha Administrative Service officer in DA case

OAS officer acquitted in 17-year-old DA case; court finds his income exceeded assets, expenses during check period.
Image used for representation.
Image used for representation.

CUTTACK : A court of Special Vigilance Judge recently acquitted an Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) officer after finding him innocent in connection with a disproportionate assets (DA) case filed against him 17 years ago. Rajesh Kumar Agarwal is presently working as deputy secretary Labour & ESI.

The residential and official premises of Agarwal, a 1999 batch OAS officer was raided by state Vigilance on April 26, 2007 after he was suspected of amassing wealth beyond his lawful source of income. Agarwal was then the tehsildar of Bargarh.

The state Vigilance had registered a DA case against him on August 22, 2007. While the chargesheet in the case was filed after six years on August 30, 2013 for allegedly possessing disproportionate income during the check period 2003-2007, the charges were framed against him nearly 10 years later on June 26, 2023.

Subsequently, Agarwal faced trial on the allegation of possessing disproportionate assets worth Rs 23.55 lakh. Advocate Susanta Kumar Dash fought the case on his behalf.

After completing the trial proceedings, the court of Special Vigilance Judge (Sundargarh) reserved judgment on April 8, 2024 and delivered the judgment on April 20, 2024. The special judge Rajalaxmi Pattnayak acquitted Agarwal on finding that he, in fact, had more income than assets and expenditures contrary to the state Vigilance wing’s chargesheet.

The trial court on scrutiny of evidences found that Agarwal had total income of Rs 37.72 lakh, which was around Rs 10.71 lakh more than his expenditure (Rs 9.30 lakh) and value of assets (Rs 17.69 lakh) during the check period. The Special Judge (Vigilance) said, “It is clear that the accused has acquired no assets disproportionate to his known sources of income during the check period.”

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