Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Odisha Vigilance department on Saturday filed a 3000-page charge sheet against Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi and his wife in disproportionate assets (DA) case.

The charge sheet was submitted at the Special Court of Vigilance in Bhubaneswar in connection with the cases registered against Panigrahi and his wife, Sujata Panigrahi on October 4, 2021 by the order of Lokayukta, Odisha for possession of assets disproportionate to known his sources of income during his tenure as a public servant.

During the course of investigation, house searches were conducted and relevant materials, documents and information related to assets, income and expenditure were collected. After completion of the investigation, Panigrahi was found in possession of assets disproportionate to the tune of Rs 9,18,13,007, the source of which he failed to explain satisfactorily.

His spouse was also found liable for abetting the offence. Accordingly, the investigation report was filed before the Lokayukta on June 9, 2022," the Vigilance said.

A vigilance press release stated, “After examining the investigation report, the Lokayukta on April 20, 2023, ordered for submission of charge sheet against Panigrahi and his spouse before the special court, Vigilance, Bhubaneswar. Accordingly, a 3000-page charge sheet has been filed in the Special Court, Vigilance, Bhubaneswar documenting detailed evidence against the accused for standing their trial in the Court of law.”

The Gopalpur MLA was arrested on charges of forgery, criminal conspiracy and other cyber offences on December 3, 2020. Following Panigrahi's arrest, he was expelled by the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD). He was released from Jharpada jail in Bhubaneswar on June 12, 2021 after he was granted bail by the Orissa High Court in connection with the ‘TATA Motors job fraud’ case registered at the Golanthara police station in Ganjam district.

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