Odisha court frames charges against MLA, others for duping job seekers

A Bhubaneswar court has framed charges against Odisha MLA Pradeep Panigrahy, who was expelled from the ruling BJD, and two others in a case accusing them of running a job racket for a reputed automobile company.

The two other accused persons are Akash Pathak, son of dismissed Indian Forest Service officer Abhay Kant Pathak, and V Sarveswar Rao.

The Gopalpur MLA was arrested on December 3, 2020, for allegedly duping several people in Odisha’s Ganjam district by promising jobs in the company. He was expelled from the ruling BJD on November 29 of the same year for “anti-people” activities.

The court of judicial magistrate first class, Bhubaneswar, framed charges against the three on Monday.

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The Crime Branch of Odisha Police in a statement said they were charged with impersonation, cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and other offences.

The MLA had allegedly entered into a conspiracy and collected money on behalf of Akash, the Crime Branch said adding that Rao was their associate.

It is alleged that Akash used the logo of Tata Motors and collected money from people promising them jobs in the company.

The Crime Branch had registered a case against Akash Pathak following an FIR lodged by Tata Motors in September 2020 accusing him of committing forgery by impersonating the in-charge MD of the passenger car division of the company.

The final chargesheet was submitted to the court on February 10, 2022.

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