Senior Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Abhay Kant Pathak, in jail since November final yr for amassing belongings disproportionate to his identified sources of earnings, was compelled to retire on Monday after the Centre accepted the state authorities’s suggestions for a similar.

As a part of its coverage of zero tolerance in the direction of corruption, the Odisha authorities final yr beneficial retirement of the 1987 batch IFS officer, terming him “very corrupt and high-flying”. The state had accused Pathak of depositing his “ill-gotten” wealth in his son Akash Pathak’s financial institution accounts and mentioned that he was additionally concerned in a job racket run by his son, who posed as managing director of Tata Motors to rob unemployed youth of big quantities of money on the false pretext of giving them jobs within the firm.

In the final 1 yr, greater than 104 state officers have been given obligatory retirement over corruption points.

Pathak, who served as the extra principal chief conservator of forests would have turn into the following principal chief conservator of forests of Odisha in June this yr had he not been named in a corruption case in November final yr. The state vigilance division accused Pathak of amassing disproportionate belongings price 9.35 crore, 435 % of his complete earnings and claimed it to be the largest disproportionate belongings case in Odisha’s historical past.

Pathak, working as Odisha’s further principal chief conservator of forests (Plan, Programme and Afforestation), was arrested after vigilance carried out raids at 13 locations together with his official residence in Bhubaneswar, his workplace, his condo, the condo of his nephew, driver’s home, his home at his native village in Khagaria, Bihar, luxurious residences and farmhouse in Pune and residence of his son’s supervisor at Samata Colony, Pune. His son Abhay Pathak, who owned Mercedes, BMW and Tata Harrier model autos in addition to high-end bikes similar to Yamaha FZS, was arrested too.

The vigilance sleuths had alleged that Pathak and his household made at the very least 20 journeys to totally different cities by chartered planes at an expenditure of over three crores throughout Covid lockdown final yr. The vigilance sleuths discovered resort payments totalling over 90 lakhs for bills made at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai and advance reserving price 20 lakhs at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur in Rajasthan for the upcoming marriage of Pathak’s son with the daughter of former BJD minister Pradip Panigrahy.

Panigrahy was additionally accused of conspiring with Pathak’s son Akash to cheat job seekers by promising jobs at Tata Motors with none authority to take action. He can be behind bars for greater than 5 months.

In January this yr, a vigilance courtroom in Odisha granted bail to Pathak and his son within the disproportionate belongings case. However, he and his son stay behind bars in one other case of non-payment of cash to a journey company in Bhubaneswar. The father-son duo had booked chartered flights, five-star inns and air tickets by the company which value round 2.78 crore. They paid the company 2.13 crore whereas 65.16 lakh is but to be cleared.

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