Deepak Gupta, aide sent on 10-day police remand by Odisha court

Reported by Santosh Jagdev

Bhubaneswar, July 10:

Enforcement Directorate (ED) today obtained a 10-day remand of the prime accused Deepak Gupta and his associate Satyabrat Rout in connection with Odisha’s multi-crore Uliburu mining scam.

Deepak_Gupta-650x430After hearing the public prosecutor and the defence counsel, the court remanded the two accused in ED custody till July 20. The ED will question the duo about their involvement in the mining scam.

Both Gupta and Rout were presented before the District Sessions and Judge Court, Khurda today.

ED’s special public prosecutor advocate S Mohanty advocated for a 15-day ED remand citing the seriousness of the offences committed by the duo in the mining scam. The two accused need to be interrogated in custody to arrive at the truth, he argued.

The sessions court Judge Dr Durga Prasanna Choudhary, after hearing the counsels for the ED and the accused, ordered that both the accused be sent to ED custody for ten days. The court also rejected the bail petition filed by the accused.

Earlier, the ED had produced the duo before the Court on July 3 to take him on remand. But the court had sent the accused to seven days’ judicial custody insteady.

Deepak Gupta, who was operating the Uliburu iron ore mine leased out to B K Mohanty by virtue of a power of attorney, has been accused of violating forest and mining laws.

The mine is closed since 2009 after the government cracked down on illegal mining operations in the area. The reports of the mines department suggest that the miner excavated huge amount of iron ore from forest area by shifting the boundary pillars into adjacent reserve forest even after the lease validity expired in 2003.

Earlier, the State Government had suspended 16 officials, including two officers of the Indian Forest Service (IFS), in connection with Uliburu scam.

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