Charge sheet against BJD legislator

Arrested senior Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA  Prabhat Tripathy has been named in the charge sheet filed by the CBI in connection with the multi-crore chit fund scam in Odisha.

The charge sheet filed in a designated CBI court here is on the activities of Artha Tatwa (AT) group, one of the 40 odd tainted chit fund companies operating in Odisha which are currently under the investigation of the premier probe agency.

Apart from Tripathy, a four time MLA who has already been suspended from the Naveen Patnaik-led ruling regional outfit, the names of 15 others have also figured in the 80 page charge sheet.

Prominent among them are former advocate general (AG) Ashok Mohanty, AT group chairman-cum-managing director Pradip Sethy and state based media house owners Bikash Swain, Madhu Mohanty and Manoj Dash. While Swain and Madhu Mohanty own two local dailies published from Bhubaneswar, Dash is the proprietor of an Odia news channel.

Except the former AG, all are currently behind bars. Mohanty is out on bail now. The CBI has told the court that this is a preliminary charge sheet and the investigation is still in progress on the activities of AT group and persons linked to it.

Meanwhile, the probe agency which is conducting the investigation under the direction of the Supreme Court, on Saturday interrogated P K Hota, a retired IAS officer, for his alleged links with Seashore group, another state-based chit fund company currently under investigation. Hota, who was the managing director of APICOL, a government of Odisha undertaking, was questioned almost for four hours.

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