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Court rejects Odisha TV channel owner’s bail plea

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 26:

The Khordha district sessions judge court today rejected the bail plea of Manoj Das, proprietor of a local television channel, who has been arrested by the CBI for his alleged complicity in the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group chit fund fraud in Odisha.

The court had reserved its verdict on Das’ bail plea on Wednesday after hearing arguments from both sides.

Manoj Dash
Manoj Dash

Das and another media owner Madhu Mohanty, proprietor of Odia newspaper ‘Odisha Bhaskar’, were arrested by the CBI on September 14 for their suspected complicity in the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group scam.

On Tuesday (September 16), the special chief judicial court (CBI) court had sent Dash on a 14-day judicial custody after rejecting his bail application.

Das had allegedly taken Rs 90 lakh from AT Group CMD Pradip Sethy for leasing out bandwidth for operating six television channels in the teleports owned by him. On the other hand, Sethy had claimed during interrogation by the CBI that Dash had taken the money as a loan from him and had not returned the amount.

During interrogations by the CBI, Dash managed to produce document/agreement pertaining to the leasing of bandwidth for operating only one television channel in his teleport for Rs 15 lakh to Sethy but had failed to produce documents for the other five channels and also to account for the rest Rs 75 lakh, said sources.