The Telegraph
Monday , February 13 , 2017

Assets lens on officials

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 12: The vigilance directorate has set its focus on confiscating disproportionate assets acquired by government officials. The directorate has been directed to confiscate such properties under provisions of Article 13 of the Special Courts Act 2006.

According to official statistics, the directorate has received 141 authorisation letters from the government for confiscation of disproportionate assets between 2013 and February 2017. Of these, final orders have been passed in 24 cases for confiscation of assets.

"The state government took possession of the disproportionate assets in six cases, while in the remaining 18 cases the accused have managed to obtain a stay order from Orissa High Court," said a vigilance sleuth.

Last year, the directorate registered 575 cases, including 233 cases of trapping and 119 cases of disproportionate assets. The directorate booked 162 Class-I officials last year, while the number of Class-I officials booked in 2015 stood at 75.

"As many as 1,099 persons were accused in 575 cases registered in 2016. In all these cases, a total of Rs 115.52 crore of unaccounted properties was involved. We have also started a special drive for timely filling of applications for attachment and confiscation of assets of corrupt public servants," said director of vigilance R.P Sharma.

The vigilance directorate in June last year had registered a case against Tripura cadre IPS officer and former inspector general of police at SC and ST Protection Cell, Odisha, Joydeep Nayak for misappropriation of Rs 88 lakh.

The money was meant for training programme for the students of the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe. Nayak was arrested on July 23 from Ghaziabad and he subsequently got bail in August.

Involvement of Class-I and Class-II officials in the state in vigilance cases is on the rise. Statistics revealed that while 48 Class-I officials were booked in 2013, the number went to 162 in 2016.

Similarly, the number of Class-II officials booked stood at 36 in 2013, which rose to 104 in 2016.

"We have directed our officials to prioritise the filling of applications related to confiscation of disproportionate assets in the courts concerned so that the accused are not able to dispose of their ill-gotten assets," added Sharma.

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