Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 7:
While Special CBI Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Court sentenced jail terms to Ponzi firm Artha Tatwa (AT) Group chief Pradip Sethi and another director of the Group Manoj Patnaik yesterday for defrauding depositors of their money, charges could not be framed against 21 other accused today.
The framing of charges could not take place as some accused filed time petitions while some others filed discharge petitions.
Among them are Banki BJD MLA Pravat Tripathy, former Advocate General Ashok Mohanty, DSP Pramod Panda and Bollywood model Priti Bhatia. The framing of charges in the matter cannot take place until time and discharge petitions filed by them are not disposed of by the court.
Sethi, who was an under trial prisoner till day before yesterday in Jharpada Special Jail here, has a new identity after his conviction and sentencing by the court, he is convicted no. 6.
On the other hand, while depositors’ of AT Group are yet to be identified, how they will be refunded their money remains a puzzle.
“On the one hand while the proprietor is pleading guilty to the crime, how could the CBI arrive at that he will pay Rs 250 crore? He has already spent half of the sentenced term in jail and will spend the remaining period in jail. He will happily get released from the jail. This raises doubts on the CBI and hints at an understanding reached between the two. Further, the verdict doesn’t say anything on refund of money to duped depositors,” said an official of Arthika Sanstha Manaka Dwara Kshatigrastanka Milita Mancha (ASDKMM).