‘Tainted‘ official, hubby held for amassing ‘ill-gotten‘ assets


BHUBANESWAR: Vigilance here on Thursday arrested Nalini Kumari Prusty, financial advisor of Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA), and her husband Bijay Ketan Sahu, a at Chhatrapur in , on charges of possessing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
Their arrests came a day after the vigilance sleuths raided their house and offices. “During raid we found that the couple and their family members owned assets to the tune of nearly Rs 6.87 crore. After calculating their genuine income and expenditure, we found their to the tune of Rs 5.05 crore. This is so far our highest ever detection of disproportionate assets case in Odisha,” a vigilance officer told TOI. The anti-corruption wing is likely to move the vigilance court, seeking the couple’s custodial remand for interrogation. Prusty and Sahu have been sent to judicial custody following rejection of their bail pleas.

Vigilance said the couple allegedly amassed bulk of their properties in the last three years. After detecting nearly Rs 1.32 crore towards different types of deposits in several banks, the vigilance has asked those banks to freeze the accounts. “We are also trying to find out whether the couple have deposits in any other banks. We are also trying to find out if they own any benami properties,” the officer said.

Prusty said she has been framed. “I am innocent. I do not possess disproportionate assets. I did not take any illegal gratification from anyone in my career. Since I hold an important position in OPEPA, some people became envious and hatched a conspiracy against me,” Prusty told media persons. Prusty, who joined government service 19 years ago, had been serving in OPEPA since 2015. Her husband has a service period of 13 years.
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