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Lokpal passes away

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 23: Lokpal Justice P.K. Patra passed away last night following a cardiac arrest at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.

Justice Patra, a retired high court judge, was appointed as the Lokpal in 2008. During his tenure, the Naveen Patnaik government faced piquant situations on a number of issues.

On September 26 last, Governor M.C. Bhandare had directed the Lokpal to look into the alleged police excesses on Congress supporters at a rally on September 6 last year, acting upon a memorandum submitted by a party delegation. Justice Patra had initiated the inquiry process and notices were issued to a number of parties.

The Lokpal had embarrassed the Odisha government by questioning the wisdom of officials who had acquired land for the proposed Vedanta University, which was to be set up by the Anil Agrawal Foundation near Puri.

In his order, he had said that the foundation was not a public company under the Companies Act and therefore the Odisha government should not acquire land for a private company.

In his report, he had sought probe into the land allotment.