5.05 Crore DA Of Odisha MLA Pradeep Panigrahy Unearthed; Vigilance Raid At 15 Places

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Vigilance on Sunday began simultaneous searches at 15 different places associated with Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi and his associate on disproportionate assets (DA) charges.

This followed a direction from the Odisha Lokayukta to register a case and conduct the raids. The legislator had allegedly amassed disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 5 crore.

“On the allegation of possession of disproportionate assets by Pradeep Kumar Panigrahy, a secret verification was conducted by Odisha Vigilance. On completion of the secret verification, as materials were found regarding possession of disproportionate assets by Panigrahy, a complaint was filed before the Lokayukta, Odisha, Bhubaneswar on 9.12.2020. Finding material in the said complaint that Panigrahy had amassed assets disproportionate to known sources of income by resorting to corrupt practices, the Lokayukta, Odisha, Bhubaneswar vide order dated 11.12.2020 directed Odisha Vigilance to conduct an inquiry against Panigrahy under,” the official release said.

Panighragi had become richer by Rs 5,05,04,656 between May 5, 2009, and November 11, 2020, while occupying the public office, the inquiry report submitted to Lokayukta on May 28, 20021, said.

“After minutely examining the report and reply filed by Panigrahy, Lokayukta found a prima-facie case against him for an offence under Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 as amended by Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2018,” the release said.

It directed the Odisha Vigilance to initiate an investigation into the matter and authorised the investigating officer to conduct searches in the case.

Accordingly, the Vigilance registered a case on October 4, 2021, for detailed investigation and began simultaneous searches at 15 different places, it added.

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