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Odisha land scam: Hi-Tech chief seeks two weeks time to pay Rs 43 cr

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/ New Delhi, Mar 30:

Chairman of the Hi-Tech group, Tirupati Panigrahi today sought two weeks time from the Supreme Court to refund Rs 43.55 crore.

Tirupati Panigrahi
Tirupati Panigrahi

The apex court had earlier asked Panigrahi to return Rs 63.55 crore of which he has returned Rs 20 crore.

It may be mentioned that the Economic Offences Wing (EoW) of the state Crime Branch had arrested Tirupati and his two relatives and the directors of the Hi-Tech group— Tirupati Choudhury and Madhusudan Panigrahi— on December 25, 2012 for allegedly reneging on the promise of providing residential plots to people after taking money from them in 2009.

The probe by the EOW of the Crime Branch had revealed that the Hi-tech Group owed more than Rs 315.96 crore to the investors.

The Group had received money from 17,181 investors with promise of providing them with residential plots of which about 16,901 investors are yet to get the land till date.

The EOW, so far, has registered at least five cases against the Hi-Tech Group.

Earlier in February last year, the Supreme Court had granted conditional bail to Tirupati, who was behind bars for the last 13 months for his alleged involvement in land scams.

The apex court, while hearing the case, had asked Panigrahi to refund Rs 63.55 crore to investors.

The court, later in May, asked him to return depositors’ money within 3-4 months.

Conducting a hearing in the land fraud case, the apex court turned down the plea of Panigrahi, who had sought at least six months to start the process to refund the amount to investors.

The EOW, so far, has registered at least five cases against the Hi-Tech Group.

The Hi-Tech chief owns real estate firms, two private medical colleges and several professional educational institutes, under the business conglomerate Hi-Tech Group, in different places of Odisha.