Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Jul 4:
Chitra Athwani, the former air hostess summoned twice by the Commissionerate Police to appear before it in connection with the arrest of vice chairman of the Deccan Chronicle Group PK Iyer from Hotel Trident in the Odisha capital, has reportedly expressed her inability to appear before the police since she was undergoing treatment for injuries sustained in a mishap.
Nayapalli police have received a letter from Ms Athwani claiming that she was undergoing treatment in a Ranch hospital for injuries sustained in her spinal cord after falling in her home. Ms Athwani has also attached a medical certificate to her letter certifying her indisposition and has requested to be exempted from questioning for now, said police sources.
Athwani’s letter expressing her inability to depose leaves Bhubaneswar police with two options: either wait for her to recover, which her letter says could take up to two months, or send the investigating officer (IO) to record her statement in the Ranchi hospital where she is being treated, sources said,
Reportedly, Ms Athwani has applied for anticipatory bail in the High Court last month.
According to sources, Ms Athwani’s counsel Partha Mukherji has applied for an anticipatory bail on behalf of his client in the case (No ABLAPL/9240/2015) in the High Court on June 25. Her plea, however, is yet to be taken up for hearing.
As Ms Athwani is being called by the police to depose in the case as a witness, the filing of an advance bail petition by her is aimed at avoiding arrest if she is found guilty after interrogation.
The letter written by her, therefore, is being seen as an attempt to buy time till her bail petition is disposed by the High Court. Since there are huge number of cases pending in the High Court, the hearing of Ms Athwani’s plea might take some time, sources added.
The Commissionerate Police has served summons to Ms Athwani twice, the first time on June 16 and the second time on July 1, after finding that Iyer, who was wanted by CBI for an alleged bank loan fraud worth Rs 357 crores, was staying in a room in the hotel booked in her name.
Commissionerate Police is presently investigating the nature of the relationship between Iyer and Ms Athwani since he was arrested from the room booked in her name on June 6.
During investigation, police found that Iyer had first arrived at the hotel with Ms Athwani at about 2AM on February 14. They had stayed together for 10 days before she left the hotel.
Iyer, however, booked a hotel room in the same hotel in her name and continued to stay till his arrest on June 6.