Lok Pal to inquire illegal gratification charge against ex-minister
Bhubaneswar, Apr 5 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced in the state assembly that the Lokpal will inquire into the allegation of illegal gratification against former Water Resources, Science and Technology Minister Rabi Narayan Nanda.
Making a statement on the concluding day of the budget session of the Assembly, Mr Patnaik said he had requested the Governor to refer the allegation to the Lokpal for inquiry under the Lokpal Ayukta Act.
The Chief Minister said Mr Nanda, who tendered his resignation in the wake of the allegation, had also requested him to conduct an impartial inquiry.
The former Water Resources Minister resigned on March 23 following the Opposition allegations of his involvement in a hooch tragedy. The Opposition had also stalled the proceedings of the house demanding his resignation forthwith.
The Opposition had submitted a CD purported to contain the conversation of the former Minister with a Congress MLA where Mr Nanda had allegedly offered money and requested not to link his name in the hooch tragedy issue in the house.
The Opposition had tabled the report of the Judicial Commission report of 2001 Puri hooch tragedy where the Commission had made his observation on a telephone call made from the residence of Mr Nanda to a liquor baron of Chhatisgarh, involved in the tragedyv that claimed 20 lives.
Though the Minister described the allegation as a conspiracy against him and the party, he later tendered his resignation from his post.
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