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CBI court rejects bail pleas of ex Odisha AG, two others; sends them to judicial custody till Sep 30

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 24:

Ashok Mohanty, Former Advocate General
Ashok Mohanty, Former Advocate General

The special CBI court here today rejected the bail pleas of former Odisha advocate general (AG) Ashok Mohanty, ‘Odisha Bhaskar’ owner Madhu Mohanty and real estate broker Dharmendra Bothra, who have been arrested by the CBI for their alleged links with the tainted AT group, a key player in the Odisha chit fund scam, and sent them to judicial custody till September 30.

With the court rejecting their bail petitions, they would be shifted to the special jail in Jharpada here.

All three were produced in the court by the CBI at the end of their remand period. While the former AG was on a two-day remand, Dharmendra Bothra and Madhu Mohanty were on four and 10 days’ remand respectively.

Ashok Mohanty’s counsel Asim Amitav Das had moved a petition seeking shifting of his client to a hospital on the grounds that he is ailing. But he later withdrew it as per the advice of Mohanty, who refused to go to a hospital where he feared he would be mobbed by media persons, according to sources.

Sources in the CBI today made the startling revelation that the former advocate general, who had claimed to have paid Rs 1, o0, 01, 000 as full and final payment towards the house in Cuttack’s CDA area he had purchased from AT group chief Pradip Seth in 2012, had entered into a fresh agreement in 2013 in which he had talked about paying an ‘advance’ of Rs 30 lakh for the same house.

It is believed that the need for a fresh agreement was an afterthought after then Nilagiri MLA Pratap Sarangi raised the matter of the purchase of the house by the former AG in the state Assembly.

While Mohanty had paid Rs 70 lakh to Sethy through seven cheques, he could not account for the rest Rs 30 lakh. Mohanty’s counsel has, however, claimed that his client had paid the rest Rs 30 lakh through cheques, but it could not be encashed since Sethy had been arrested and all his bank accounts seized by that time.