Odisha tehsildar found with multiple PAN cards, ₹4.65 lakh cash; arrested


Odisha anti-corruption officials on Tuesday arrested a tehsildar after seizing at least 5 PAN cards and cash worth 4

Odisha anti-corruption officials on Tuesday arrested a tehsildar after seizing at least 5 PAN cards and cash worth 4.65 lakh from him, officials said.

Vigilance officials said Ramachandra Jena, tehsildar of Nimapara in Puri district, was intercepted by the sleuths at his official residence at Nimapara at around 5 am with unaccounted cash worth 4.65 lakh. Jena, who is facing two corruption cases, including one regarding the settlement of the land, could not explain how he got the cash. Jena’s brother Laxman Jena was also arrested in the case.

Jena was also found to be in possession of 5 PAN cards with different dates of birth and father’s name which are offences under the Income Tax Act. As per the IT Act, a fine of 10,000 is imposed on anyone who owns duplicate PAN cards under Section 272B.

According to the vigilance officials, the tehsildar’s younger brother was an active accomplice and abettor in Jena’s corrupt activities. He used to manage Jena’s bribe money.

During the investigation, the tehsildar’s brother confessed that in September 2021, his brother called him thrice to Nimapara and gave him 10 lakh in three instalments – 2.5 lakh, 5 lakh and 2.5 lakh, respectively – which he deposited in his ICICI bank account. The ICICI Bank passbook has been seized.

On Monday night, he received a telephone call from his brother to collect 4.5 lakh on Tuesday early morning when the vigilance officials caught him. Further search at his residence at CDA Sector 11 in Cuttack and his native place at Dhanmandal in Garadpur Block of Kendrapara is on. The search operation was led by one additional superintendent of police (SP), seven deputy SPs and two inspectors of the vigilance department.

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