Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 6:
Various civil society organizations led by RTI activist Pradip Pradhan have registered a complaint with Bhubaneswar CBI SP seeking an inquiry into the functioning of OKCL (Odisha Knowledge Corporation Ltd).
The complaint was registered yesterday against former Chief Secretary Bijay Patnaik, former Higher Education Secretary CS Kumar, Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd (MKCL) Director and CEO Vivek Sawant, among others.
The complaint holds top OKCL and State Government officials responsible for the Rs 200 Crore scam in a company that had been set up to spread IT literacy in the state.
“The setting up of OKCL with the equity participation of Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited and the private institution is itself a fraudulent action committed on the state by its own officers contrary to the guidelines of Government of India,” said Pradhan.
“The State Government has got its own organisation like the Odisha Computer Application Centre, IIIT (International Institute of Information Technology) and State Institute of Education Technology (SIET) to promote ICT (Information & Communication Technology) in education. However, the OKCL was set up without consulting specialised organisations like OCAC and IIIT. It gives rise to suspicion to mis-utilisation of government funds,” he added.
Earlier, after Pradhan obtained the information through RTI that stated that OKCL whose chairman is the Chief Secretary of the state is not a government company, he had moved the Special CBI court seeking a probe, but the court had asked him to file an FIR with the CBI SP.
Besides, in a press conference organised on December 29, Odisha BJP had also alleged massive corruption and had demanded a CBI probe into the functioning of OKCL.
Santosh Birari, the Managing Director of OKCL, however, had then stated that the public limited company had done nothing wrong, financial or otherwise. “The share holding pattern is proposed to change gradually by involving the state universities and private educational institutions,” he had said.