Seashore chit fund scam: Chargesheet filed against 5 including Odisha MLA

Bhubaneswar: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed second chargesheet in connection with the Seashore Group chit fund scam against five persons including BJD’s Choudwar-Cuttack MLA Pravat Biswal and his wife Laxmi Bilasini.

In the 100-page chargesheet, MLA Biswal has been accused of having financial benefits from Seashore Group by facilitating the company to run its business in Choudwar area of Cuttack.

The chargesheet has also been filed against retired Odisha Administrative Services (OAS) officer and former Cuttack collector Pradeep Kumar Hota and his wife Pratima Hota for showing undue favours to the firm.

A case under section 420 and 120 (B) of IPC has been registered against the five.

Notably, MLA Biswal was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the wee hours of September 19, last year from his Mahanadi Vihar residence in Cuttack for his alleged complicity in the Seashore Group chit fund scam.

The legislator was under scanner over a deal between his wife Laxmi Bilasini Biswal and Seashore Group CMD Prashant Dash over a piece of land measuring 34 gunths at Benapur mouza in Jajpur district.

Dash had paid Rs 25 lakh for the land by cheque in two installments to Laxmi Bilasini in April 2012. However, Dash had cancelled the deal later and had wanted his money back.

The MLA’s wife had claimed that she returned the money to Dash by cash and was in possession of an agreement reached between her and Dash on court paper in the matter.

Similarly, Hota was arrested by CBI on October 11, last year under charges of extending undue favours to the Seashore Group during his tenure.

Hota was the Managing Director of Agricultural Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited (APICOL) from 2008 to 2011 and it is being alleged that he committed the offence during the period. The Seashore Group had reportedly transferred Rs 19.70 lakh to Hota’s joint account.

Worth mentioning, the CBI, which is probing into the mega chit fund scam, had earlier filed a 276-page charge sheet in which it had named Prashant Dash, his brother Pravat Dash and middleman Subhankar Nayak and accused the company of swindling Rs 578.20 crores.

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