Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Aug 28:
Special Judicial Magistrate (SJM) court of CBI, Bhubaneswar has once again extended the remand period of the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group director Sambit Khuntia by 10 more days for further interrogation by the CBI in the multi-crore chit fund scam in Odisha.
The court decision came after Khuntia, who was in the CBI custody for the last two days, was produced before the court today after his remand term ended today.
The CBI counsel requested the court to take the accused for the third time on a 14-day remand.
The SJM court had earlier allowed the Central agency to take Khuntia on a 10-day remand for interrogation on August 17, the term of which ended on August 26 . The court had granted extension of his remand for two more days on August 26.
According to sources, the CBI wants to interrogate the AT Group chief, Pradip Sethi in the presence of the directors of his company Jyotiprakash Jaiprakash, Sambit Khuntia and the company accountant, Shrikrushna Padhi.
All four are currently under CBI’s custody.
The idea is to elicit crucial information regarding the modus operandi of the AT group, the biggies who received illegal gratification from the company and of course the money trail.
While, a 10-day remand was granted for the custodial interrogation of Sethi and Padhi on Monday, Jyotiprakash was sent to CBI custody on Sunday. The central agency seems to have gathered crucial information from Khuntia pertaining to the multi-crore chit fund scam.
Khuntia during his interrogation was quizzed about the trade links of AT while he was a director of the ponzi firm, sources said.
Khuntia was arrested by a CBI team on August 16 following a raid at his residence located at the Bata Mangala Housing Board colony in Khordha district.
During the search operation recently, the CBI had seized 31 computers and several important documents from the AT Group office in the state capital.
The investigating team had also seized several incriminating documents, hard drives and photographs of some city-based builders and politicians from the office.
The police has so far confiscated properties of the AT group amounting to Rs 410 crore that include 11 expensive cars, 159 buildings, 242 acres of land and a bank balance of Rs 2 crore.
The AT Group is among 44 firms under the CBI scanner for duping thousands of investors in the state.