Odisha MLA arrested in job scam gets bail, but will remain in jail

Published on Feb 24, 2021 08:33 PM IST

Despite the bail, Pradeep Panigrahy will not be released from prison as three other cases of fraud have been filed by the people of Ganjam district.

Pradeep Panigrahy (in pink shirt) was arrested in December for his alleged involvement in a job scam.(HT PHOTO)
Pradeep Panigrahy (in pink shirt) was arrested in December for his alleged involvement in a job scam.(HT PHOTO)
ByDebabrata Mohanty

The Orissa High Court on Wednesday granted conditional bail to former BJD leader and Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahy who has been in jail since December last year on charges of defrauding youths of Ganjam district by promising them jobs in Tata Motors.

Panigrahi was granted bail with the condition of furnishing bail bonds of 5 lakh each with two sureties and 24 lakh cash security.

Panigrahy has been in jail since December 3 after the Odisha CID arrested him on in connection with a case registered with the Cyber police station under sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 469, 471, 120-B of the IPC and Section 66C, 66D of IT Act. The CID alleged that Panigrahy had collected money from people on behalf of Akash Pathak, son of suspended IFS officer Abhay Pathak, with the false promise of providing jobs in Tata Motors.

However, the legislator will not be released from prison as three cases of fraud have been filed by people of Ganjam district at Golanthara police station.

In December, the ruling BJD had sacked the 56-year-old Panigrahi from the party on charges of anti-people activities.

Earlier this month, the Orissa High Court had quashed an order of the Lokayukta for a probe by the state vigilance department against Panigrahy noting that the complainant and investigating agency in a quasi-judicial process cannot be the same.

Last December, the Lokayukta had issued the order on a complaint filed by Vigilance department on how Panigrahy amassed assets disproportionate to his known source of income.

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