A search operation was conducted by the Vigilance Department at 11 locations in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, and Balasore to trace incriminating documents and disproportionate assets in connection with a case pertaining to demanding and accepting bribe by IAS official Bijay Ketan Upadhyaya, the director Horticulture Odisha. The Odisha government on Monday had suspended IAS officer Bijay Ketan Upadhyaya after he was found guilty of demanding a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from a farm implements manufacturing company through a private bank executive.
A press release from the Office of Director Vigilance Cuttack started the deployment of 100 vigilance officers and the conduction of simultaneous searches at offices, residential houses.
"More than 100 vigilance officers and other officials have been deployed for the operations and are conducting searches at 11 locations. Teams consisting of Chartered Accountant, bank officers and officers of Cyber cell are assisting in the investigation," the press release said.
The press release further went on to say, "Simultaneous searches are being conducted at the office, residential house, house of relatives, of Dr Upadhyaya and Santosh Pattnayak and other suspect officials of Directorate of Horticulture located at different places in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, and Balasore to trace out incriminating documents and possession of disproportionate assets."
The state government has placed Upadhyay under suspension after he was arrested for allegedly taking bribes. A complaint was filed against the officer, following which the state vigilance department carried out an investigation and arrested Upadhyay. The state government has placed Upadhyay under suspension after he was arrested for allegedly taking bribes.
On Monday as the trap was laid and Pattnayak was caught red-handed by the vigilance officers of Cell division, Cuttack, after receipt of bribe of Rupees one lakh from complainant on behalf of Updhayay in front of Yes Bank Bhubaneswar. The bribe amount as being paid against the payment of over Rs 50 lakhs released to the company account of the complainant.
The bribe money has been recovered from the pant pocket of Pattnayak and seized in presence of the witness. After getting the information (complaint against him) through State Government's 'Mo Sarkar' feedback system, the vigilance department trapped Upadhyay. Odisha government had recently launched 'Mo Sarkar', a feedback-based governance initiative to make system people-centric. After his arrest, his house was also searched. Upadhyay is a 2009 batch IAS officer.
(With Inputs from ANI)