Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 22:
The special chief judicial magistrate court here today allowed the CBI to take former Odisha Advocate General (AG) Ashok Mohanty on a two-day remand.
While the counsel for CBI had sought a three-day remand, Mohanty’s counsel had moved a bail petition on his client’s behalf.
The bail petition of Mohanty, however, was not heard today as the case details were not produced in the CBI court.
During the arguments, the CBI counsel told the court that the signature of Artha Tatwa Group CMD Pradeep Sethy in the money receipt issued to Mohanty towards sale of his house in Cuttack was fake. Besides, details were available for only Rs 70 lakh paid in seven cheques, while there was no evidence of the rest of the money having been paid to Sethy.
Mohanty had claimed to have paid a total of Rs 1, 01, 00, 000 to Sethy for the house, the CBI counsel said, adding that the former AG would be questioned on the rest of the amount during the remand.
CBI sources said there was a larger conspiracy in the money trail of the sale of the house in Cuttack that Sethy had purchased from Justice Laxmikanta Mohapatra, currently the Chief Justice of the Manipur High Court, who had been originally allotted the house by the Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) under the discretionary quota on May 25, 2007.
Sethy had paid for the house with money from the accounts of the AT Group. Later, he had sold the same house to Mohanty by encashing a part of the money through cheques that were transacted from one personal account to another, they said adding they would interrogate Mohanty in this regard during remand days.
The CBI has slapped charges 120 B, 294, 341, 406, 409, 420, 467, 468, 471, 506 and 34 of IPC and sections 3, 4, 5 of Prize, Chit and Money Circulation Scheme Act 1978 against Mohanty.
Mohanty was arrested by the CBI from his Cuttack residence in connection with the land deal he had done with AT group chief Pradip Sethy earlier in the day.
He was then brought to the CBI office here where he was questioned before being produced in the special CBI court in the evening.
The former advocate general was reportedly questioned on his purchase of a house in CDA in Cuttack from Sethy for Rs 1.01 crore in 2013.
Aaccording to sources in the CBI, Mohanty failed to provide their team with the details and supporting evidence of the transaction, especially the payment part.
The former advocate general, however, said he had a clear conscience in the matter and insisted he was not involved in any wrongdoing.
“I have complete faith in God and my ‘guru’. I will say whatever I have to say in the court,” he had told media persons after undergoing a medical check up at the Capital Hospital here in the afternoon.