Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baripada, Apr 20:
A local court in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district today sentenced three senior officials of two chit fund companies to rigorous imprisonment and imposed hefty fine on them.
The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Baripada, Sanjay Kumar Sahu convicted Diptikanta Behera, regional manager of India Info Star to five-years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of a Rs one crore and two other officials of India Info Line— branch manager Gagan Patra and manager Subhendu Sekhar Panda—with four-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 20 lakh each.
The court directed the concerned authorities to realise the amount even if the convicts served jail term after default in payment. In default of payment, Behera would undergo 18 months jail term while in case of Patra and Panda the period is six months each, it ruled.
However, the court, in a special verdict under section 421(1) of CrPC, directed that even if the convicts served the jail term after default in payment, the fine amount has to be realised from them.
The court had convicted the three officials under various sections of IPC and section 4 and 5 of Prizechit (Money Circulation Scheme) Banning Act of the Odisha government.
The three officials had floated two chit fund companies India Info Star and India Info Line at Betanati in the district in November 2011 and collected huge amounts from depositors the depositors promising them to double their amount in one year.
However, they closed down their offices after a year.
Following a complaint lodged by Kalakar Mahanta of Phuragosala under Betanati police station limits on February 4, 2013 with the Betanati police station, police later arrested the three officials.
Preliminary investigations had revealed that they had collected over Rs 1.31 crore from depositors.