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Odisha chit fund scam: Court allows CBI to take Pradeep Sethy on fresh 3-day remand

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 3:

The special Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) court of CBI this evening allowed CBI officials to take Artha Tatwa (AT) group chief Pradip Sethy and his accountant Shrikrushna Padhi on a fresh remand of three-days to further interrogate them on their role in the multi-crore chit fund scam case in Odisha.

Pradip Sethy
Pradip Sethy

Sethy and Padhi were produced before the court after their 10-day remand period ended today. The court, in its ruling, allowed the CBI to take the duo on a 3-day remand after hearing the arguments of the counsel for the central agency, who had pleaded for a four-day remand.

On August 25, the court had allowed the Central agency to take the duo on 10 days’ remand.

CBI would now interrogate the AT Group chief about his claims that the Commissionerate Police had shielded top political leaders, bureaucrats, police officers, journalists and other influential persons involved in the mega Odisha chit fund scam by pressurizing him to give a second statement without naming any of them. A document in this regard was submitted in the court by the investigative agency on Tuesday.

More information would be gathered from Sethy about the details of the money and gifts he claimed to have given politicians and influential persons in his first statement.

Sethy would be asked about the top cops and police officers who were aware about the involvement of these influential persons, but had pressurized him to change his statement to ensure that the involvement of political leaders remained under the wraps.

In the meanwhile, the CBIhas found conclusive evidence of the close link between Sethy and a BJD minister of Ganjam district, a youth BJD leader of Puri district, a senior BJD minister of undivided Cuttack district and a former minister of undivided Koraput district, sources in the investigating agency said.

Two directors of his company Jyotiprakash Jaiprakash and Sambit Khuntia are already in CBI custody and are under intensive interrogation.