Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Jul 23:
Chitra Athwani, the former airhostess who is under the scanner of the Odisha police for her links with PK Iyer, the Vice Chairman of the Deccan Chronicle group arrested from a posh hotel here on June 6, has said she has an ‘intimate’ relationship with Iyer and plans to marry him.
“I have an intimate relationship with Iyer and have plans to marry him. I have no knowledge of the bank fraud,” Twin City Commissioner of Police Dr RP Sharma quoted Chitra as telling the two-member team of the Commissionerate Police that had gone to New Delhi to record her statement.
“We are now examining whether the provisions of the Serai Act can be invoked in the case,” the Commissioner said.
The two-member team of the Commissionerate Police comprising the IIC of Nayapalli police station Suryamani Pradhan and the investigating officer (IO) had left for New Delhi to interrogate Chitra Athwani on July 21 and returned today after recording Chitra’s statement.
The day the team left for New Delhi, the Odisha High Court had granted interim protection to the former airhostess from appearing before the Commissionerate Police to record her statement till August 7.
The court had granted interim protection to her till August 7 while adjudicating on her anticipatory bail plea and had directed her to depose before the investigating officer by that date. The court has fixed the next date of hearing on her anticipatory bail plea on August 7.
Athwani’s counsel Partha Mukherji had applied for an anticipatory bail on behalf of his client in the case (No ABLAPL/9240/2015) in the High Court on June 25.
Athwani had written a letter to Nayapalli police station on July 3 expressing her inability to appear before the police since she was undergoing treatment for injuries in her spine sustained in a mishap at her home.
Athwani had also attached a medical certificate to her letter certifying her indisposition and had requested to be exempted from questioning for now.
The Commissionerate Police had twice served summons to Athwani, 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 Athwani since he was arrested from the room booked in her name on June 6.
During investigation, police had found that Iyer had first arrived at the hotel with 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.