Two ex-ministers convicted in corruption cases in Odisha: CM

Bhubaneswar: Two former ministers have been convicted in disproportionate assets and corruption cases during last 12 years in State even as the anti-corruption vigilance wing filed chargesheets against 13 ex-ministers and incumbent panchayati raj minister.

This was stated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through a written reply in the Assembly on Monday.

Ex-minister Batakrushna Jena was convicted by Special Judge, Vigilance, Bhubaneswar on January 8, 2001 and sentenced to imprisonment for three years and penalty of Rs 50,000. In default of the fine amount, the court had ordered additional six month imprisonment for the former minister, Patnaik said.

Jena was urban development minister in J B Patnaik council of ministers from 1986-1989. He passed away last year.

Besides Jena, former health minister Kamala Das had also been convicted in corruption case, the chief minister said,adding, she was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for one year and imposed fine of Rs 2,000 and additional RI for one month under section 120-B of IPC (Punishment of criminal conspiracy).

The vigilance court also sentenced Das to undergo RI for one year and to pay Rs 2,000 under section 13 (1) (d) read with 13 (2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 on July 24, 2010, Patnaik said.

Kamala Das, who had served as a minister in both late Biju Patnaik and Naveen Patnaik ministry, has challenged the Special Vigilance Judge order in Orissa High Court.

"Bail has been granted to Dr Kamala Das and realisation of fine amount stayed. Appeal is now pending in the Honourable High Court," the chief minister said.

Of the 13 former ministers, two cases each had been filed against Ramachandra Ullaka, Nalinikanta Mohanty and Dilip Ray. While Ullaka and Mohanty have meanwhile passed away, cases against Ray were subjudice.

On Panchayati Raj minister Kalpataru Das, the chief minister said he was chargesheeted by vigilance department, but acquitted by Special Judge, Bhubaneswar on June 16, 2009.

Other former ministers against whom the vigilance has submitted chargesheets are: Bijay Mohapatra, Prasanta Nanda, Jadunath Das, Jugal Kishore Pattnaik, Habibulla Khan, Muzafar Hussain Khan, Nagarjuna Pradhan and Harihar Karan.