ORHDC loan scam: Relief for Congress MLA Md Moquim as Orissa High Court stays conviction
The order has allayed speculations of the legislator losing his post as he will now continue as MLA till the next hearing which is scheduled on February 22 next year.
Cuttack: In a major relief for Congress MLA Md Moquim, the Orissa High Court today issued a stay order on the conviction imposed by a Special Vigilance Court in Bhubaneswar in connection with a loan scam in Odisha Rural Housing Development Corporation (ORHDC). The order has allayed speculations of the legislator losing his post as he will now continue as MLA till the next hearing which is scheduled on February 22 next year. Moquim, who represents Barabati-Cuttack Assembly constituency, would have been disqualified as a member of the Orissa Legislative Assembly if the vigilance court’s conviction would have been effected.
The MLA was sentenced to three years of rigorous imprisonment by the court of Special Judge (Vigilance), Bhubaneswar in the loan scam case last month. Moquim was working as the Managing Director of Metro Builders Private Limited during the scam. Along with him, former IAS officer and Managing Director of ORHDC, Vinod Kumar, Company Secretary of ORHDC Swosti Ranjan Mohapatra and realtor Peeyus Mohanty, Director, Metro Builders Pvt Ltd were also awarded three years’ jail.
The court had convicted the four accused persons and Metro Builders Private Limited under Section 13 (2) r/w 13(I) (D) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and Section 120-B/468/471 of the IPC. The court also imposed a penalty of Rs 50,000 each on the convicted persons. Non-payment of the penalty amount would invite another six months of jail term.
After the conviction, Moquim had moved the High Court challenging the lower court’s order on October 10.
While the HC granted the bail, the MLA was asked to furnish a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh with two sureties. The court had also stayed the penalty imposed on the legislator in the case. On October 13, Justice BP Routray had reserved the verdict in the case after hearing the arguments of both parties in the case.