Pradeep Pattanayak

Millionaire Sundargarh ADM Biswajit Mohaptra will be produced in the court on Sunday following his arrest in a disproportionate assets case. Before his production in the court, the arrested government servant will be taken to the Vigilance headquarters in Cuttack, said Vigilance sources. 

The Odisha Vigilance sleuths had carried out simultaneous searches at the properties of Mohapatra following information about his disproportionate assets. During searches that lasted for 36 hours, the sleuths claimed to have stumbled upon assets worth around Rs 10 crore. 

The anti-graft officials conducted raids at Mohapatra's residential house located at Rudrapur, Balianta, flat at Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar, house in native village Redhua, relatives’ house at Jadatira in Jagatsinghpur, official residence at Sundargarh town, Official chamber at Sundargarh Collectorate and residential accommodation of a relative located at OCL campus in Rajgangpur. During the marathon searches that followed the raid, apart from over Rs 3 lakh cash, the sleuths unearthed one double storied building at Naharkanta in Bhubaneswar worth about Rs 89 lakh, one flat at Asiana in Rasulgarh area in Bhubaneswar, over Rs 2 crore in Bank FDs, savings accounts and insurance premiums, gold weighing 350 gm, Rs 18 lakh deposited in Mutual funds and Rs 2 lakh in NPS.

That apart, the crorepati ADM had also been running cement business in his wife’s name in Naharakanta.

After cracking OAS in 1997, Mohapatra started his career at the Settlement office in Bhubaneswar in 1999. Later he served as a Settlement Officer, additional Tehsildar, Tehsildar and block development officer (BDO) at several locations. During his tenure as BDO of Lathikata block and Sub Collector in Bargarh, corruption charges were leveled against him. However, the cases met a dead end with the Vigilance department unable to collect evidence to prove his involvement. 

Later, his name again was linked to corruption allegations when he was serving at Panposh PA ITDA. Meanwhile, he was promoted as Sundargarh ADM on September 9, 2020. Allegations of accepting bribes from people displaced due to operation of MCL coal mines to distribute compensations were again leveled against him. Then, a video clip showing the then revenue inspector (RI) demanding bribe from one Bhaskar Badhei, an affected person, in the name of ADM Biswajit Mohapatra went viral. Taking note of the incident, the then district Collector had directed a probe. 

“The ADM had asked Rs 1.9lakh as bribe. Since I was not able to meet the demand, my file was closed. Those who could manage to arrange the demanded money received the compensation amount,” said Badhei. 

Only 16 days were left for Mohapatra’s retirement when the raids took place. 

In his reaction to journalists, Mohapatra said he would reveal everything in the court at an appropriate time.  

As per the information shared by the Vigilance department, in 2021, a total of Rs 107 crore was seized in 92 DA cases and 175 government ‘babus’ and other accused were arrested. 

“As per the rule, an officer should be transferred from a place after serving for three years or on promotion. During the tenure of this government, instances of officers continuing even after completion of three years at a posting or on promotion are rampant. They are enjoying their overstay using their political nexus. Had Mohapatra been transferred from Sundargarh, he couldn’t have been able to accumulate so many assets,” opined retired IAS officer Sahadeb Sahoo.