Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar Oct 25:
After facing a 90-minute interrogation by the CBI today, the former Odisha government chief whip and BJD MLA from Banki Pravat Tripathy said he was not questioned at all on his controversial phone chat with Artha Tatwa chief Pradeep Sethy and that it was all about an award given to Sethy in 2010 for his contribution to the co-operative movement.
After he stepped out of the CBI office here, Tripathy told media persons that today’s interrogation centred around the Best Youth Cooperator’ award given to the CMD of the AT Group Pradeep Sethy in 2010.
It is alleged that Tripathy, during his presidentship of the Orissa State Cooperative Union, a government cooperative society, went out of his way to shore up Sethy’s image by getting him the ‘Best Youth Cooperator’ award.
This was the fourth time Tripathy has appeared before the CBI team for interrogation in connection with the chit fund scam.
Tripathy’s today’s appearance before the Central investigating agency was the first since the Odisha High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea on October 20. The court had earlier given him interim relief on September 30 for about 20 days preventing his possible arrest by the CBI.
While granting interim relief to Tripathy, the court had asked the CBI to submit the forensic lab report of the voice test that sought to match his voice in a recorded phone conversation with AT group chief Pradip Sethy with the voice recorded by the CBI during his interrogation.
The CBI as per the court’s instruction submitted the transcript as well the forensic lab report of the voice test which sources said has clearly mentioned that the voice sample of Tripathy matched with that of the telephonic conversation recorded in the CD. Following the forensic lab’s voice test report the court rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Tripathy.
Tripathy, whose house was raided in August by the CBI in connection with its probe into the chit fund scam, had moved the High Court on September 15 seeking anticipatory bail, apprehending that the Central agency may arrest him anytime.