High Court bail to IAS Bijay Ketan

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Bhubaneswar: The Orissa High Court Monday granted conditional bail to IAS officer Bijay Ketan Upadhyaya who was arrested over graft charges by the vigilance department. The court, however, directed the lower court to set the conditions for his bail. Upadhyaya and his banker friend Santosh Kumar Pattanaik were arrested by the vigilance sleuths December 30, 2019.

Pattnayak, an employee of a private bank at Bapuji Nagar here, allegedly received Rs 1,00,000 on behalf of Upadhyaya from the representative of SRM Plastochem Pvt Ltd in order to clear a pending bill of Rs 50 lakh to the company.

SRM Plastochem Pvt Ltd is an empanelled supplier under the Directorate of Horticulture for supply of micro irrigation sprinklers to farmers in Odisha under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).

Subsequently, the vigilance department sent him to judicial custody by registering a case (21/19) under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 2018 and Indian Penal Code. Earlier, two bail pleas of Upadhyaya had been rejected by the special vigilance court here. Later, he moved the HC seeking bail.

The court had also permitted vigilance sleuths to take Upadhayaya on a five-day remand till January 5. However, the court is yet to decide on the bail petition filed by Upadhyaya’s banker friend.

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