Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, May 15:
In a bizarre turn of events following the Supreme Court order for a CBI inquiry into the chit fund scam in Odisha, the counsel for the petitioner defended himself against accusations levelled against him by the latter in a press conference recently, saying the charges are unfounded and false.
Delhi-based advocate Suresh Tripathy, who was the counsel for the petitioner in the chit fund case in the Supreme Court until the penultimate round of the hearing, today refuted allegations that he had betrayed the latter and was hand in glove with some of the Odisha-based chit fund companies.
Tripathy, who had called a press conference today along with well-known social activist Prafulla Samantra, said the petitioner in the PIL on chit fund case Alok Jena had brought false and unfounded charges against him and also demanded polygraph test on him, the chief minister and three others ‘to help reveal the truth behind the multi-crore chit fund scam in the state”.
Tripathy said he had fought for the public interest litigation (PIL) on the chit fund scam filed by Alok Jena in the apex court for the last one year.
“After the all-important hearing on 26 March 2014 when the court shortlisted 44 companies including all the controversial Odisha based chit fund companies including Seashore, Artha Tatwa, Astha and Greenray, Jena wanted to part company with me and asked me to give him a no-objection certificate (NOC). But I said I may not represent him in court but will not give up the case. I then approached the court to allow me to look for another petitioner for the PIL and the court agreed. I, then, requested Prafulla Samantara to be the second petitioner and I represented him in the same matter during the next and the last hearing in the case on April 23,” Tripathy told media persons.
Prafulla Samantara, who was the second petitioner in the PIL, said, “It is not clear why Jena had to ask for the NOC from Tripathy at the very last stage of the hearing. Some people were trying to suppress the matter and wanted the advocate Tripathy to quit the case,” .
He said Tripathy, who had put his heart and soul into the case was now being sidelined under pressure from the vested interests.
Samantara argued that there was no need for the first petitioner Jena to drop his lawyer at the final hearing stage because the court got no new material or evidence in the next and last hearing on April 23 .
“Whoever is trying to link Tripathy to the chit fund scamsters, is trying to bail out some of the companies which are being protected by the state government,” Samantara alleged, while calling upon the small investors in Odisha to thank the lawyer for his sincere and dogged effort to get them justice through the CBI inquiry.