Odisha IAS Officer Sent To Jail After Remand

Bhubaneswar: Suspended IAS officer Bijay Ketan Upadhyaya, arrested on charges of demanding bribe, was produced in the Court of Special Judge, Vigilance, here on Sunday after the end of six-day remand period.

The court later remanded him to judicial custody to 14 days, following which he was taken to Jharpada Special Jail in Odisha capital, media reports said.

The court had earlier allowed the Vigilance to take him on remand till January 5 for questioning.

The next hearing on his bail plea has been posted to January 8.

On December 30, vigilance sleuths had arrested the 2009-batch IAS officer for demanding a bribe of Rs 1 lakh for passing a bill. Santosh Kumar Pattanayak, relationship manager of the YES Bank branch at Bapuji Nagar, Bhubaneswar, was also arrested for allegedly accepting the bribe money on behalf of Upadhyaya.

The information was received as a part of the feedback mechanism of ‘Mo Sarkar’ initiative and a trap was laid accordingly by the vigilance sleuths.

During search, the anti-corruption agency officials had seized Rs 11.78 lakh cash from the houses of Upadhyaya and Pattanayak. A mobile phone, laptop, pen-drive, hard disc and a diary were also seized from their possessions.

Following his arrest, the Odisha government suspended Upadhayaya, who was serving as Directorate of Horticulture.

The investigation also revealed he had four accounts in the private bank, one of which relates to micro-irrigation.

The IAS officer, however, had refuted the graft charge. While being taken to the court on December 31, he told mediapersons that some staff of his department, including a top level official, falsely accused him of taking bribe to settle scores.

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