ORHDC Scam: Senior IAS Officer Binod Kumar gets 3-year jail term

Bhubaneswar: The Special Vigilance Court in Bhubaneswar today awarded three-year jail term to senior IAS officer and former director of Orissa Rural Housing Development Corporation (ORHDC) Binod Kumar in connection with financial irregularity to the tune of Rs 55 lakh in the corporation in 2000. Kumar was arrested after he surrendered before the court today.

As per reports, Binod Kumar, the then executive director (technical) Purna Chandra Das, assistant manager Sanjay Mohanty, accounts officer Pradip Rout, accountant Chitta Mallick and secretary of Gramya Bikash Manch, Asish Das had been convicted by the court.

All the accused were held guilty under section 13 (2), 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and section 420 and 120 of Indian Penal Code.

The accused were found guilty for criminal conspiracy and granting pecuniary advantage to NGO Gramya Bikash Manch by releasing funds in an arbitrary manner without following the guidelines to set up Rural Building Centre (RBC) in Balipatna, thereby causing a loss to the State and Financial Institutions.

Earlier on August 8, the Court had awarded three-year jail term to the then accounts officer Pradip Rout and accountant Chitta Mallick in connection with the fraud. Both Rout and Mallick were arrested after they surrendered before the concerned court.

Earlier in July, the Orissa High Court had directed five persons including the senior IAS officer to surrender before the Vigilance court in connection with the financial fraud. The Court later issued non-bailable warrants (NBW) against five of them as they were absent in the Court. However, the then Assistant Manager Sanjay Mohanty was awarded a jail term of three years as he deposed before the court for the hearing.

Reports claim that as many as 23 cases of financial irregularities and disproportionate assets are pending against the senior IAS officer who is currently holding the position of Officer on Special Duty in the Higher Education Department.