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IAS officer convicted in rural housing scam

IAS officer convicted in rural housing scam
Vinod Kumar, and five others in an Rs 1.02-crore scam in the Odisha Rural Housing Development Corporation (ORHDC).(Image Credit: Twitter)

A special vigilance court here Monday convicted a suspended IAS officer, Vinod Kumar, and five others in an Rs 1.02-crore scam in the Odisha Rural Housing Development Corporation (ORHDC) and awarded them rigorous imprisonment of three years.

Kumar, a 1989-batch IAS officer and a former managing director of ORHDC, four former officials of the agency and a builder were also ordered by the court to pay fine of Rs 50,000 each, failing which they will have to undergo rigorous imprisonment of six additional months.

The six have been convicted of misappropriating ORHDC funds on the pretext of providing flats to 27 people.

The IAS officer was convicted in a case of financial irregularity of Rs 55 lakh earlier.

Kumar was arrested on August 10 in the first case soon after he surrendered in the court. The court had pronounced three-year jail term for Kumar and another person.

After hearing their plea, the high court had granted them interim relief on July 8.

On Monday, the special vigilance court found Kumar and four others guilty of offenses under Prevention of Corruption Act and sections of Indian Penal Code for granting an undue official favor, criminal misconduct, forgery, cheating, and criminal conspiracy and obtaining pecuniary advantage to builder Bijay Kumar Biswal.

They were held guilty of releasing funds in the guise of 27 individual loans meant for the rural poor in an arbitrary manner without following set guidelines.

Biswal too was awarded a similar sentence.

Besides Kumar and Biswal, the others convicted are Pradeep Kumar Rout, Swosti Ranjan Mohapatra, Jnanendra Swain, and Satya Prakash Behera - all former officers of ORHDC.

All of them were released on bail under section 389 of CrPC.



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