Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Oct 31:
Former Odisha government chief whip and BJD MLA from Banki Pravat Tripathy appeared at the CBI office here this evening.
Tripathy, who arrived at the CBI office around 4.30 pm today, headed straight for the Investigating Officer’s room and is currently being interrogated for his suspected complicity in the mega chit fund scam in Odisha and his alleged links with the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group.
He could be questioned about the best cooperator award given to AT group chief Pardeep Sethy in 2011 and the audio CD containing a conversation between him and Sethy, sources said.
This is the fifth time Tripathy has appeared before the CBI team for interrogation in connection with the mega chit fund scam in the state. On October 25, the last time he was at the CBI office, Tripathy was grilled for two and half hours by the Central investigating agency.
This is Tripathy’s second appearance before the Central investigating agency after the Odisha High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea on October 20. The court had earlier given him interim relief on September 30 for about 20 days preventing his arrest by the CB
Tripathy, whose house was raided in August by the CBI in connection with its probe into the chit fund scam, had moved the High Court on September 15 seeking anticipatory bail, apprehending that the Central agency may arrest him anytime.
A day after Tripathy moved the High Court, he was interrogated for over five hours at the Bhubaneswar CBI office in connection with his alleged links with AT Group chief Pradip Sethy.
It may be mentioned here that the CBI, during simultaneous raids on the houses of Tripathy at Banki and at Kaligali in Cuttack, had seized some important documents apparently confirming his links with the AT Group.
Later, the residence of his close associate Subash Padhi in Banki was also raided and his bank accounts scrutinised by CBI officials for possible leads to Tripathy’s financial transactions with the tainted chit fund company.
Ashish Sahu, a member of the state executive committee of the ruling Biju Janata Dal, known to have been very close to some influential BJD MLAs and ministers including Tripathy, was also interrogated on September 14 for over four hours by the CBI for his alleged links with the AT Group.