Orissa; The Odisha Government suspended Indian Forest Service officer Abhay Kant Pathak from duty after he and his son Akash were apprehended by the anti-corruption vigilance in an undeserved asset case.
Pathak, now acting as the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Plan, Program, and Afforestation, Odisha, was captured along with his son Akash Kumar Pathak in association with the DA case. The court of the Special Judge, Vigilance, Bhubaneswar remanded them to judicial custody till 9 December after the denial of their bail request. Thus, a case under multiple sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 2018, has been recorded against Pathak and his son.
The 1987 batch IFS officer was found in the custody of excessive assets to the value of ?9.35 crore exceeding his known sources of income. This amount was approximately435% of the total earnings from all his known sources. Huge cash deposits have been made in private banks via deposit slips and ATM counters and high-value dealings have been made in the accounts by the duo. The details of the procedures of the banks involved in this regard are being investigated.
Details of their income tax returns, investments in shares, mutual funds, are also being authenticated by the officials. The factors of Benami dealings and possessions are also being examined. Before arresting the IFS officer and his son, vigilance detectives had made concurrent probes at five places in Bhubaneswar, seven places in Mumbai and Pune, and one place in Bihar on 25 and 26 November on the power of search warrants given by the Court of Special Judge, Vigilance, Bhubaneswar. During the raids, they retrieved ?50 lakh in cash from Abhay Kant Pathak’s nephew, ?20 lakh from his driver, gold ornaments weighing 800 gm, and documents relating to the acquisition of gold jewelry worth ?23 lakh, the statement said.
As per the reports expensive cars and motorbikes have been discovered documented in the name of his son. The vigilance investigators found that the officer and his family had made around 20 travels to different cities across India through chartered planes at an expense of more than ?3 crores during the lockdown. Bills worth ?90 lakh at Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, two luxury flats in Pune, one farmhouse in Pune taken on rent, Mercedes, BMW, and Tata Harrier in the name of Akash Pathak in Bhubaneswar were also discovered.
According to a report, Pathak’s son Akash was cheating people of money, swearing to get them jobs at Tata Motors by falsely asserting to be a managing director at Tata Motors. The company in May had complained against Akash, blaming him for cheating, forgery, and impersonating as the MD of the company. Because of extending the range of the probe, Odisha Vigilance has formed a 20 member Special Investigation Team for further questioning in this case.