Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Nov 23:
In Hi-Tech land fraud case, Tirupati Panigrahi, Chairman of the Hi-Tech group has deposited Rs 9 crores out of the remaining Rs 25.5 crores amount to be refunded to the persons who have given money but not received the promised plots.
He has deposited Rs 9 crore as third instalment in Supreme Court out of the Rs 25.5 crores amount that the highest court of the country had asked him to deposit. The next hearing of his case is on December 1.
Earlier, the scam tainted Chairman of the Hi-Tech group, had deposited Rs 18 crores on June 6 this year, as the second instalment of the Rs 63.5 crores that the Supreme Court had asked him to deposit for refund to people who paid the money but did not get the land promised to them by the company.
Making the appeal on behalf of Panigrahi, a leading Odisha based builder, his counsel and well-known lawyer Kapil Sibal had pleaded with the court to allow him four months’ time to deposit the pending amount of Rs 25.5 crore by selling off the educational institutions owned by him.
On March 30 this year, the apex court had allowed two weeks’ time to Panigrahi to deposit Rs 63.55 crore as refund money.
It may be mentioned that the Economic Offences Wing (EoW) of the state Crime Branch had arrested Tirupati and his two relatives and the directors of the Hi-Tech group— Tirupati Choudhury and Madhusudan Panigrahi— on December 25, 2012 for reneging on the promise of providing residential plots to people after taking money from them in 2009.
The probe by the EOW of the Crime Branch had revealed that the Hi-tech Group owed more than Rs 315.96 crore to the investors.
The Group had received money from 17,181 investors with promise of providing them with residential plots of which 16,901 investors are yet to get the land.
The EOW has registered at least five cases against the Hi-Tech Group so far.
The Supreme Court had granted bail to Tirupati in February last year with a condition to refund Rs 63.55 crore to investors.
The Hi-Tech chief owns real estate firms, two private medical colleges and several professional educational institutes, under the business conglomerate Hi-Tech Group, at different places of Odisha.