Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, May 23:
The Orissa High Court today granted anticipatory bail to Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s elder brother, Soumendra Pradhan in the case pertaining to the alleged black marketing and adulteration of cooking gas by the gas agency owned by Soumendra.
Informing about the granting of anticipatory bail, Soumendra’s counsel Dharanidhar Nayak said the court has asked Soumendra to cooperate with the Vigilance department during the course of investigation in the case.
Soumendra had moved the High Court seeking anticipatory bail on January 16, a day after Vigilance registered a case against him and three others– Rasmikanta Mohapatra (manager), Nilu Sahu (godown in-charge) and Debraj Panda.
The case was registered against the four under section 7 and 8 of Essential Commodities Act; section 9 (b) and 12 of Indian Explosives Act, 1884, sections 285, 420 and 120 (b) of IPC.
The members of the anti-corruption wing had raided Pradhan Gas Service at Handidhua in Talcher on January 14 following complaints of black marketing and refilling of cooking gas by the agency.