Odishatv Bureau

Cuttack: The High Court has extended interim protection from arrest to Soumendra Pradhan, brother of Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, in the vigilance case of cooking gas black marketing.

The court will hold the next hearing after two weeks, Soumendra's counsel Dharanidhar Nayak said.

Apprehending arrest, brother of the Union minister had filed an anticipatory bail petition in the High Court after vigilance registered a case against four cooking gas dealers including him on charges of black marketing of LPG.. Cases were filed under sections 120(B), 420 of IPC and sections 7 & 8 of Indian Explosives Act.

Two days after the raid, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said his brother was not above the law. “No one including my brother is above the law. The law should take its own course in this case too,” he had said.

“The state government has the rights to undertake raids. As the minister of the petroleum and natural gas department, I would like to say that action should be taken if it feels that wrong has been committed by my brother or whosoever it is,” the union minister had added.