Bhubaneswar: The suspended IAS officer, Bijay Ketan Upadhyaya, along with the private bank manager held on graft charges, was Sunday sent to Jharpada jail after the end of the five-day remand by Vigilance department.
Notably, on December 30, 2019, the anti corruption wing of state government arrested the duo while accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from the authorised representative of SRM Plastochem Pvt. Ltd. to clear a pending bill of Rs 50 lakh. SRM Plastochem, an empanelled supplier under Directorate of Horticulture, supplies Micro Irrigation systems to eligible farmers in Odisha under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).
Subsequently, the Vigilance department registered a case (Vigilance Cell PS Case No.21/19) under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, 2018 and the IPC. The court later permitted the Vigilance to take Upadhyaya and the banker, Pattanayak, on a five-day remand till January 5.
The Special Vigilance Court will hear a bail application submitted by Upadhyay, January 8.
The Vigilance department, Sunday, through a press note further revealed the prolonged relationship between Upadhyaya and the other accused, Santosh Kumar Pattanayak. As per the Vigilance department, the two accused, Upadhyaya and Pattanayak have had a ‘prolonged personal and professional association’ for many years.
Upadhyaya, during his posting as the Director of Fisheries department in Cuttack opened of an account in HDFC Bank Branchwhere Pattanayak was working as Senior Manager & Branch Head for transaction of Rashtriya Krushi Vikash Yojana (RKVY) funds in 2016. He ordered the closure of accounts of the department in six other public and private banks.
Meanwhile, when Pattanayak switched over to Yes bank in 2018, Upadhaya also opened around five accounts of the Horticulture department in the bank’s Ashok Nagar branch where Pattanayak was working till his arrest.
Upadhyaya deposited huge amounts of money in these accounts, closing other accounts held by the department in other prominent banks. The Vigilance department, during the course of investigations, found that after the deposit of Rs 50 crores by the state horticulture department which was received as special package from Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) for compensation to the coconut growers affected due to severe cyclone Fani, Pattanayak’s job at the bank was confirmed with a plum salary package.