Odisha chit fund scam: CBI takes another AT group director on remand

Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Aug 24:

The Special Chief Judicial Magistrate court (SJM) here today allowed the CBI, which is probing the multi-thousand crore chit fund scam in Odisha, to take another director of money circulation company Artha Tatwa (AT) Group Jyoti Jaiprakash on a ten-day remand, Jaiprakash was arrested by the central agency on Saturday, sources said.

Artha Tatwa

The CBI had also produced AT Group CMD Pradip Sethy before the Special CJM court yesterday and sought to take him on a 14-day remand for interrogation on the basis of new leads that have emerged during the raids conducted by it recently. The court, however, fixed August 25 for the final hearing on the matter.

Durga Prasad Dhal, Sethy’s advocate told reporters outside the court premises “The remand petition is not maintainable as police has already filed charge sheet against Sethy”.

The central agency on the other hand argued that it was a ‘continuing’ case and remand should be allowed under Section 167 of CrPc.

Dhal said though the court heard the petition, CBI sought more time to argue on its plea.

Talking to reporters soon after leaving the court room, Sethy reiterated that representatives of several politicians took money from him. Last year, he had disclosed the names of some politicians to police.

Odisha police had arrested Sethy in May 2013 following allegations that his company had duped investors of crores of rupees, but strangely did not think it necessary to raid the premises of the AT group or others who had business or political links with him.

But the CBI raided the AT group headquarters here last week and seized stacks of incriminating documents and 31 computers which sources said provided a wealth of information on the links and modus operandi of the companSoon thereafter, it raided the residences of senior BJD leader Pravat Tripathy and his associate Subas Padhi in Banki.

The CBI has also taken Sambit Khuntia, former AT Group director, on a 10-day remand for further interrogation on August 17.

The central agency has interrogated co-founder of Artha Tatwa (AT) Group and founder member of Swastik India Multi-State Cooperative Agency Ranjan Dash in connection with the ongoing probe into the multi-crore Odisha chit fund scam.

Sources said taking these facts into consideration, the central agency hopes to corroborate material evidence gathered during the recent raids with vital information gathered or to be gathered during interrogation of these accused directors of the AT Group.

On May 9, the Supreme Court had ordered CBI to probe into the chit fund scam in Odisha. The premier investigating agency has since filed a fresh case against Sethy though the commissionerate of police booked him last year.

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    Jyotiprakash Joyprakash, S/O Mr. Jayaprakash Induprakash, Flat No. D2, 4th Floor, Bishnupriya Appartment, Jaidev Vihar, Bhubaneswar- 751012 (who is the director in all nine companies of Artha Tatwa Group and holding maximum number of shares in all companies next to Pradeep Sethy) was not arrested by Commissionerate Police intentionally to suppress many facts and even CBI was not taking interest in it. Many people had demanded the arrest of Jyotiprakash through the social media.

    It is suspected that huge amounts of immovable properties in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Kolkata & Mumbai were purchased in his name and one bureaucrat and some politicians have invested their black money to purchase property in his name.

    One electronic showroom named “BLUE RAY” was run and managed by Jyotiprakash Joyprakash in Sahid Nagar, Bhubaneswar and Artha Tatwa Chit Fund Company had financed this showroom.

    After the arrest of Sambit Kumar Khuntia and Jyotiprakash Joyprakash, a lot of information about the involvement of corrupt bureaucrats and politicians will come to light.

    Next step of CBI should be to arrest Veenit Kumar Lalani and Rahul Kanwal, these two are roaming free.

    Thanks CBI for your good work.


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