Interim relief for Baijayant, Jagi as Odisha HC orders not to arrest them

Cuttack: BJP’s National Vice President Baijayant Panda and his wife and OTV’s MD Jagi Mangat Panda today got interim relief in the Sarua land scam case as the Orissa High Court directed not to arrest the couple till November 12.

Apprehending arrest, the duo had moved the court seeking anticipatory bail.

“It is directed that Jagi Mangat Panda and Baijayant Panda shall not be arrested in connection with EOW Bhubaneswar P.S. Case No. 08 of 2020 corresponding to T.R. Case No. 414 of 2020 pending before the learned Sessions Judge, Bhubaneswar till 12.11.2020,” the High Court said.

On the other hand, the Rashtriya Dalit Mahasabha today lodged a complaint at the Capital police station here against the two in connection with the Sarua land scam case. Both are major shareholders and promoters of Odisha Infratech Pvt. Ltd. that had allegedly purchased more than 7 acres of land belonging to Scheduled Caste people at Sarua in Khordha district by fraudulent means.

The Rashtriya Dalit Mahasabha demanded registration of case against the couple under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and arrest of the duo.

In a related development, Manoranjan Sarangi, a director of the Odisha Infratech Pvt. Ltd., resigned from the post citing health issues and personal reasons. Sarangi also stepped down from the post of CFO, OTV. He has already been arrested by the Odisha Crime Branch.

Also read- Baijayant Panda Promoted Firm Involved In Benani Transactions: Odisha Police.

Between June, 2010 and June, 2013, the company had purchased lands at Sarua in Khordha district belonging to Scheduled Caste people at prices much lower than the benchmark valuation in the name of Rabi Sethi, who was working as a driver of one of the directors of the firm. Possession of the land was never with Sethi, rather it was taken over by the firm, the State Crime Branch had said.

Government of Odisha had ordered a Crime Branch probe in the land scam matter. Manoranjan Sarangi and Siba Prasad Srichandan, who undertook all the dealings of the land for the company, have been arrested by the agency.

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