Bhubaneswar: Despite State Vigilance terming the IFS Abhay Pathak arrest a prized catch, the weak point of Odisha Vigilance continued. In the year 2020, the conviction rate in the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) in Odisha dropped to a new low.
When over the years (2015-19) it has been observed that in more than half of the cases made out under the PCA - 1988, the accused in Odisha managed to secure honourable acquittals from the courts of law. The saga continued in 2020.
Sample this. The conviction rate, which means sentencing the accused as guilty in judicial courts, had hovered between 43 -48 per cent for the period between 2015-2019. The rate in 2019 was 48.6 per cent, which tumbled down to 46% in 2020.
The State anti-corruption agency in its yearly performance report released on Friday mentioned that the Rs 9.35 crore DA case against IFS officer Pathak is highest ever DA amount in a case in Vigilance organisation.
During the year, the Vigilance registered 245 criminal cases against 381 persons including 53 class-I officers, 37 class-II officers, 184 class-III employees, 5 Class-IV employees, 26 other public servants and 76 private persons.
Out of 245 cases registered in 2020, 93 cases have been instituted for the acquisition of disproportionate assets against 93 public servants and 45 private persons. The total disproportionate assets in all the 93 cases stand at Rs 123.91 Crores. Out of these 93 cases, in 36 cases, the volue of disproportionate assets is more than Rs. I Crore and in 4 cases, the value is more than 4 Crores. 24 DA cases have been registered against Class-I officers and 19 DA cases have been registered against Class-II officers.
This year, 8 Govt. officers (4 Class-I di 4 Class-IN officers) have been intercepted while carrying unaccounted for cash of Rs.26,95,440/- (Rupees Twenty-six Lakhs Ninety-five Thousand Four Hundred Forty).
103 trap cases have been instituted during the year against 113 public servants and 2 private persons including 9 class-I officers, 16 class-II officers, 80 class-III employees, 4 Class-IV employees, 4 other public servants and 2 private persons for demand and acceptance of bribe amounting to Rs 16.62 lakhs.
During the year. 49 misappropriation cases relating to misappropriation of public money have been registered against 128 persons, including 99 public servants and 29 private persons, involving misappropriation of public funds amounting to about Rs.15.83 Crores. Misappropriation cases have been registered against 20 Class-I officers, 2 Class-II officers, 60 Class-III employees, 1 Class-IV employee, 16 other public servants and 29 private persons.
During the year, 221 enquiries have been initiated against 36 Class-I officers, 33 Class-II officers, 149 Class-III employees, 7 Class-IV employees, 10 other public servants and 12 private persons on their alleged involvement in various acts of corruption/malpractices. During the year, 129 enquiries have been disposed of, out of which 65 enquiries have been referred to respective departments for initiation of departmental action and 107 enquiries have been converted to criminal cases.
Submission of Charge sheet
During the year, 161 cases have been disposed of after investigation, out of which, charge sheets have been placed in 153 cases against 204 persons including 27 Class-I officers, 20 Class-II officers, 120 Class-III employees, 6 Class-IV employees, 3 other public servants and 28 Private persons. The percentage of Charge Sheet comes to 95% of the cases disposed of after investigation.
During the year, 187 persons have been arrested, which include 34 Class-I officers, 28 Class-II officers, 106 Class-III employees, 6 Class-IV employees, 5 other public servants and 8 private persons.
Conviction in Court
During the year, 16 cases have ended in conviction against one Class-I Officer, 2 Class-II officers, 13 Class-III employees and one private person. Thus, altogether, 17 accused persons have been convicted during the period. The percentage of conviction in respect of cases disposed of after trial by the Courts comes to 46%.
Dismissal from service
During the year, 15 public servants have been dismissed from government service following their conviction in Vigilance cases which include one Class-I Officer, 3 Class-II Officers and 11 Class-III employees.
Stoppage of pension
During the year, pension of 16 retired public servants has been stopped consequent upon their conviction in Vigilance cases, which include 4 Class-I Officers, 3 Class-II Officers and 9 Class-III employees.
During the year, the forest wing of Vigilance has conducted 96 joint raids with the help of local forest officials and seized timber, machineries and vehicles worth Rs 3.35 crore. In this connection, forest offence cases have been initiated against 17 persons.
During the year, State Vigilance has conducted 54 enquires/ investigation as per direction of the Lokayukta.