Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sept 22:
Former Odisha advocate general Ashok Mohanty was today arrested by the CBI from his Cuttack residence in connection with the Artha Tatwa Group financial fraud.
Mohanty has been brought to the CBI office here.
The former advocate general was questioned earlier by the CBI team on his links with the Artha Tatwa Group chief Pradip Sethy. Mohanty had bought a house in the CDA area in Cuttack from the latter for Rs 1.01crore in 2013.
However, Mohanty reportedly could not provide the CBI team proper details of the transaction, especially with regard to the payment.
The former advocate general, however, said he had a clear conscience over the matter and insisted he was not involved in any wrongdoing.
He is likely to be produced before the Special CBI court today after a formal medical examination, sources said.
Mohanty was interrogated by the CBI on September 13, a day after he resigned from the advocate general’s post and had denied allegations that he got a house at Markat Nagar in Cuttack free of cost from Pradip Sethy, CMD of Artha Tatwa (AT) group.
He had claimed that he had paid Sethy Rs 1 crore and one lakh through cheques issued against his lone bank account in SBI.
Mohanty had told the media that everything is documented and he had handed over all papers to the CBI in this regard.
Mohanty had claimed that he came to know about Pradip Sethy intending to sell his land at CDA through a person and the deal was struck and had said that while purchasing the property, he had no knowledge about the background of AT Group.
Mohanty, it may be noted, had purchased a plot of land measuring 4000 sq ft, in Sector-11 in Bidanasi project area, Markat Nagar, Cuttack, along with a two-storey building constructed on it, from Pradip Sethy.
Sethy had purchased the plot, originally allotted to Justice Laxmikanta Mohapatra, currently the Chief Justice of the Manipur High Court, by the Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) under the discretionary quota on May 25, 2007.
The deal between Mohanty and Sethy has raised eyebrows because the former had paid Rs 1, 00, 01, 000 for the land and the building which the latter had purchased from Justice Mohapatra for Rs, 1, 00, 00, 000 -just Rs 1, 000 more- on February 14, 2011.
However Mohanty had refuted the allegation and told the media on September 13 after his CBI interrogation that he had bought the property for Rs 1, 01, 00000 and not for Rs 1, 00, 01, 000 as reported in the media.
CDA had formally intimated Sethy about the change of ownership on March 22, 2013, nearly a month and half after a case of cheating and forgery was registered by Kharavela Nagar police station against him on February 7.
A similar case had already been registered against Sethy and some of his staff at the Balasore Town police station on October 6, 2012.