Orissa HC quashes Lokayukta order for vigilance probe against Gopalpur MLA

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Cuttack, Feb 3 (PTI) The Orissa High Court on Wednesday quashed an order of the Lokayukta for a Vigilance probe into the corruption charges against Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Kumar Panigrahi.

Hearing a petition filed by the MLA, the court in its ruling said that such a direction is not acceptable as the state vigilance was a petitioner before the Lokayukta and a complainant cannot be the investigator in quasi-judcial proceedings, senior advocate Pitambar Acharya who appeared for Panigrahi said.

In December last, the anti-corruption ombudsman had directed the Vigilance to conduct a preliminary inquiry against the Gopalpur MLA and submit a report within two months.

The Lokayukta directive had come on the basis of a complaint filed by a DSP rank officer of the Vigilance.

Based on information given by vigilance sleuths, the DSP had made the complaint to the Lokayukta against the MLA, who was expelled from primary membership of the ruling BJD on charge of 'anti-people' activities.

Panigrahi had challenged the Lokayukta order on the grounds of violating his Fundamental Rights as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

'The actions of the Lokayukta were also in derogation of provisions prescribed in Odisha Lokayukta Act of 2014', Acharya said. PTI COR AAM MM MM MM