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Odisha Vigilance files 5,000-page chargesheet against former Indian Forest Service officer, son in DA case | India News

The Odisha Vigilance department on Tuesday filed a 5000-page chargesheet against former Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Abhay Kant Pathak and his son Akash in a disproportionate assets (DA) case worth Rs 14.25 crore.

The case was registered by Odisha Vigilance in November 27th, 2020 for possession of assets disproportionate to the known sources of income by Abhay Kant Pathak during his tenure as a public servant. The Vigilance had also arrested the Pathak father-son duo in the case.

While the vigilance had found DA worth Rs 9.35 crore from the possession of Pathak senior, his son was arrested for allegedly abetting his father’s corrupt practices. Pathak, an IFS officer of 1987-batch, was posted as additional chief conservator of forests (plan, programme and afforestation).

During the course of investigation, house searches were conducted in 16 places including seven places in Odisha, two in Bihar, six places in Mumbai and Pune and one place in Rajasthan. Relevant materials, documents and information relating to assets, income and expenditure were collected.

“After completion of investigation, Abhay Kant Pathak was found in possession of assets disproportionate to the tune of Rs14.25 crore. Cash deposits of more than Rs 10 crore and account transfer of around Rs 5 crore were found in different bank accounts of the father-son duo during the probe,” said a vigilance officer.

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Both accused persons failed to provide a satisfactory explanation in this regard. Accordingly, a 5000-page chargesheet has been filed in the court of special judge, vigilance, Bhubaneswar documenting detailed evidence against the accused persons for abetting the offence, for standing their trial in the Court of law.

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The vigilance had recently received sanction of prosecution against Pathak from the government of India.

Pathak was also given compulsory retirement by the Odisha government in May 2021, after the Centre approved the state government’s recommendations for the same as per the Odisha government’s premature retirement policy. While recommending the Centre for Pathak’s premature retirement, the Odisha government had termed Pathak “very corrupt and high flying” and also alleged that Pathak was depositing his ill-gotten wealth in the account of his son Akash.

The development came a day after a local court framed charges against Akash Pathak along with expelled BJD MLA Pradeep Panigrahy and V Sarveswar Rao in a crime branch case in connection with a high-profile job scam in the name of Tata Motors. The Crime Branch had arrested Pathak on December 3. Panigrahy’s daughter was set to get married to Akash.

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