Bhubaneswar: The Special Vigilance Court here Wednesday granted bail to IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak and his son Akash. They were arrested in disproportionate assets (DA) case in November last year. The investigating agency could not file a chargesheet even after 60 days of the arrest, an official said. So both Abhay Kant Pathak and Akash got bail.
A 1987 batch IFS officer, Abhay served as the Additional PCCF (plan, programme and afforestation) and was all set to become the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) this June. However, the Vigilance sleuths raided his residence and other premises November 26, 2020 and arrested him for accumulating assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
Simultaneous raids were carried out in the state capital, Mumbai, Pune, Bihar and Rajasthan by around 150 officers—one of the biggest by the state Vigilance – to unearth alleged disproportionate assets (DA) owned by the 58-year-old officer, Vigilance sources said.
The Odisha cadre IFS officer was reportedly found in possession of DA worth several crore of rupees which was around 435 per cent of his total income, they added.
Hours after his arrest, the Odisha government suspended Abhay from service. According to the anti-corruption wing of the state police, Abhay is the highest-ranked forest official in Odisha to ever face a corruption charge.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had December 17 last year recommended the Centre for compulsory retirement of Abhay. This is for the first time that an All India Services cadre officer was recommended by the state government for compulsory retirement on grounds of corruption.
His son Akash, on the other hand, was accused of conspiring with expelled BJD leader and Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi and cheating several job seekers to the tune of crore of rupees on the pretext of employing them with the Tata Motors. To dupe the innocents, Akash allegedly impersonated as the MD of the company.
In a statement, Tata Motors spokesperson had issued a clarification then stating that ‘Mr Akash Kumar Pathak is not a bonafide employee of Tata Motors Limited. It was brought to our attention that he was impersonating as the MD(I/C), Tata Motors Limited, Passenger Vehicle, Pune, and seeking money from gullible persons under a fake enticement to provide Jobs in Tata Motors Limited’.