IFS officer from Odisha Abhay Pathak, facing a disproportionate asset case, has been arrested by the vigilance department of the state. Along with him, his son Akash was also arrested, who is accused of impersonating the MD of Tata Motors.
Following the arrest, the Odisha government suspended the 1987-batch IFS officer, who is working as the additional principal chief conservator of forests (plan, programme and afforestation) of Odisha since June 2018. The father-son duo was remanded to judicial custody till December 9 after the arrest.
The arrests were made after a large-scale raid by the vigilance department involving 150 officers and staff of the anti-corruption wing. The sleuths had simultaneously raided five places in Bhubaneshwar, seven places in Mumbai and Pune, and some regions of Bihar and Rajasthan in the last few days.
The raids revealed that Abhay Pathak has accumulated unimaginable wealth over the years. During the raid at Pathak’s house, the Vigilance department had found evidence of cash deposits amounting to Rs 9.4 crore in the bank accounts of Pathak’s son Akash. Rs 60 lakh in cash was also recovered during the searches.
In addition to the cash, gold ornaments weighing 800 grams was also found during the searches. The anti-corruption wing has also found documents related to purchase of gold ornaments worth Rs 23 lakh by Pathak’s family.
His son Akash Pathak expensive vehicles like Mercedes, BMW and Tata Harrier as well as high-end bikes such as Yamaha FZS motorcycles.
The raids also had revealed that the Pathak family had hired chartered planes for 20 trips during the lockdown period and have spent upwards Rs 4.5 crores on the flights alone.
The vigilance officials also recovered bills of more than 90 lakhs paid at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai and advance booking amount of Rs.20 lakh at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur in Rajasthan. The lavish apartment building at Bhubaneswar had Italian marble flooring, ivory furniture and other luxuries. The Pathak family owns several high-end luxury cars and had hired private security with expensive salaries for personal bodyguards.
The assets recovered from Pathak amounts to around 435% of his know sources of income. Following the raids, a case under several sections of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018, has been registered against the officer, and accordingly he was arrested along with his son.
After the raids, Abhay Pathak had denied corruption allegations. He had claimed that his son gets a salary of Rs 1 crore per month, and that’s how they have so much property.
Son accused in forgery and impersonation case
Pathak’s son Akash had been named in a crime branch FIR in May for alleged forgery and fraud. Tata Motors had filed an FIR alleging that Akash has been pretending to be an MD at the company and cheating people, promising them jobs. He had also donated Rs 5 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund in April this year allegedly posing as MD of Tata Motor’s Transport Division. After the donation, the matter came to light and Tata Motors filed a complaint against him, after which an investigation was launched.