Sarua land fraud: Baijayant, Jagi shift blame onto OIPL top executives

Cuttack: National Vice President of BJP and former MP, Baijayant Panda and wife Jagi Mangat Panda placed the blame squarely on two former Directors of Odisha Infratech Pvt Ltd (OIPL) for the alleged land irregularities in Sarua, Khordha.

In an anticipatory bail plea moved in the Orissa High Court, the couple mentioned that Bibhu Prasad Rath and Manoranjan Sarangi were running the day-to-day affairs of Odisha Infratech as Directors of the company.

The plea further stated Rabindra Kumar Sethi, who allegedly purchased land from Scheduled Caste group people and sold the property to OIPL later, was employed as Bibhu Prasad Rath’s driver. Bibhu Prasad Rath was also the Chief Executive Officer of a group company, ORTEL Communications Ltd.

Baijayant Panda and Jagi Mangat Panda are only shareholders of Odisha Infratech. Baijayant Panda has never been a Director of the company and never participated in its affairs whereas Jagi Mangat Panda was a Director of Odisha Infratech from September 23, 2008 till March 10, 2010, the bail plea mentioned.

The Additional SP of EOW, Crime Branch on October 31, 2020 filed an FIR suo motu in connection with the fraudulent land transactions by Odisha Infratech Pvt Ltd. Baijayant Panda and Jagi Mangat Panda later moved the anticipatory bail pleas in the HC fearing arrests.

Earlier, November 5, 2020, the Orissa HC granted interim protection to the couple from arrest. But the court withdrew the protection from arrest on November 20.

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