The Vigilance sleuths have recovered Rs 25 lakh cash and detected property worth over Rs 3 crore during simultaneous searches conducted at multiple locations linked to Biranchi Narayan Sahoo, Private Secretary to a Member of Odisha the Staff Selection Commission (OSSC), in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, on Friday.
As per reports, the sleuths recovered Rs 12 lakh cash from the residence of Sahoo and Rs 13 lakh from the house of his brother-in-law. Besides, they recovered gold ornaments from his house, reportedly worth around Rs 60 lakh.
These apart, documents of two double-storey buildings worth around Rs 3 crore have also been recovered. The State anti-corruption agency also found documents related to Sahoo's foreign visits and nine plots registered in the names of the government servant and his family members.
The recovery of the huge amount of cash and property worth crores from the official’s house has nevertheless, raised many eyebrows with many suspecting Sahoo having been involved in illegal practices in the recruitment process of the State Staff Selection Commission.
On being asked about the alleged disproportionate assets, Sahoo said, "The matter is under investigation and I have nothing to say at this stage. Everything will be clear after the investigation is over."
While confirming that the property has been disproportionately amassed by Sahoo, Vigilance SP R Prakash said, "The probe is underway through different angles. We are also investigating whether Sahoo has taken money from any candidate for posting."
He further said, "He can't generate such huge sums of money with his minimal salary. After the present investigation (disproportionate assets) is completed, we will interrogate him and also record the statements of his relatives."
However, Jagannath Lenka, the OSSC member whose PS is Sahoo, said, "I don't require a Private Secretary and he does nothing for me. I can't say from where and how he has collected so much money."
Meanwhile, OSSC chairman Nirmala Chandra Mishra said that Sahoo has no role to play in the recruitment process. "Only the investigation will establish how Sahoo managed to amass wealth. Our action will be proportionate to the findings," he said.
The counting of cash and evaluation of property- papers of which were recovered from Sahoo’s locations- was underway at the time of publication of the report.