Odishatv Bureau

In a major blow to former minister and industrialist Dilip Ray, a special vigilance court has turned down a discharge petition filed by him in connection with a disproportionate assets case in 1996.

The court ordered framing of charges against Ray and asked him to appear before it personally on March 15. 

In 1996, the former Rourkela MLA was accused of accumulating wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. He was found in possession of multiple plots, a chain of hotels and several bank accounts, among other assets.  

At that time, Ray was a minister in the cabinet of former Chief Minister of Odisha, the late Biju Patnaik. 

According to sources, the Vigilance department had estimated Ray’s disproportionate assets at Rs 3.88 crore. The Cuttack vigilance office had registered a case (Case no 53/28.6.1996) against him under Section 13 (1), read with 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.  

In October 2020, Ray was sentenced to three years imprisonment by a Delhi court in a coal scam case pertaining to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block in 1999.

The coal scam had occurred during BJP-led NDA government at the Centre in 1999 government where BJD was the partner party. Ray was the minister of state (MoS) for Coal with independent charge in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. 

Shortly after his conviction, Ray was granted bail along with two other accused. Later, the trial court suspended the sentencing of the ex-minister.

Ray was unavailable for comments on the latest development in the Vigilance case against him.