Bhubaneswar: Reacting to the Vigilance raids conducted on the gas agency of his brother, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday said no one is above the law and the law will take its own course if any irregularity is found.
“The state has a right under the Essential Commodities Act to carry out searches and take action. They felt that there were some irregularities regarding these commodities and have taken necessary action. No one is above the law, be it my brother or any known person,” said Pradhan.
The Vigilance department has registered a case against Soumendra Pradhan, brother of the Petroleum minister, after it found irregularities in his gas agency Pradhan Gas Service at Handidhuan in Talcher.
Soumendra on Monday moved the Orissa High Court seeking anticipatory bail.
A case has been registered against 4 including Soumendra over irregularities in LPG distribution and adulteration under Sections 7 & 8 Essential Commodity Act, Section 9B & 12 of Explosive Act 1894, Sections 285, 420 and 120B IPC.
On Saturday, the Vigilance sleuths conducted raids at several petrol pumps and gas agencies across the state, including the Pradhan Gas Service at Handidhuan in Talcher following allegation of adulteration and black-marketing.
The anti-corruption wing said 40 gas cylinders had been sold without authorisation to one Debaraj Panda of Talcher without any document. The vigilance officials said verification of records further revealed that the 40 cylinders had allegedly been issued in the name of different consumers of the agency by faking documents.
Later, Panda’s godown was searched and 83 gas cylinders of various companies, including the 40 cylinders from Pradhan Gas Service, were found.