Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi on Saturday released from Jharpada jail in Bhubaneswar after he was granted bail by the Orissa High Court yesterday in connection with TATA Motors job fraud case registered at Golanthara police station in Ganjam district.
The former BJD leader and minister had been lodged at the Jharpada jail since his arrest on December 3 last year on the charges of forgery, criminal conspiracy and other cyber offences.
The Gopalpur lawmaker was booked under section 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (Cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will) and 120-B (conspiracy) among others along with Section 66- c/ 66-d of IT Act, 2000.
Panigrahi was accused of collecting money on behalf of Akash Kumar Pathak against whom the Tata Motors had lodged a complaint alleging that the latter took huge amount of money fraudulently from unemployed youths to secure them jobs in the company by identifying himself as MD of Tata Motors Pune Passenger Division.
Akash Pathak is the son of IFS Abhay Kant Pathak, who was compulsorily retired last month after the Centre approved Odisha government’s recommendations for the same.
A three-time MLA and a former minister, Panigrahi was once a close aide of the BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik. Prior to his arrest, he was expelled from the BJD for alleged 'anti-people' activities.