Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Oct 1:
Former Odisha government chief whip and BJD MLA from Banki Pravat Tripathy today surrendered his passport with the CBI, which is probing the mega chit fund scam in Odisha. He was in the CBI office for nearly an hour and left at around 5.30 pm today.
This was the second time the senior BJD leader came to the CBI office in the last fortnight. He was grilled for a marathon six hours on his first visit on September 16.
The Odisha High Court had on Tuesday granted Tripathy, under the CBI scanner for his alleged links with the AT group, interim relief from arrest till October 13.
While granting interim bail to Tripathy, the High Court had set two conditions. First, he would surrender his passport with the CBI and second, he would inform the agency before leaving the state.
In accordance with the directions of the court, Tripathy today surrendered his passport with the CBI. He is also reported to have submitted some other documents sought by the CBI, sources said.
The court will take up Tripathy’s plea for anticipatory bail at the next hearing on October 13.
The Banki MLA’s residences in Banki and Cuttack have also been raided and bank accounts of his close aide Subash Padhi scrutinised by the central investigating agency last month.
Apprehending arrest by the CBI, Tripathy had moved the Odisha High Court on September 15, seeking anticipatory bail after his house was raided by the CBI team probing the chit fund scam in August.
A day after Tripathy moved the High Court; he was interrogated for over five hours at the Bhubaneswar CBI office in connection with his alleged links with AT Group chief Pradip Sethy.
He had, however, refused to divulge anything to the media about the interrogation.
Mercifully, there was no repetition of the ugly spat between his supporters and some media persons that marked his last visit to the CBI office.
It may be mentioned here that the CBI, during simultaneous raids on the houses of Tripathy at Banki and at Kaligali in Cuttack, had seized some important documents apparently confirming his links with the AT Group.
Later, the residence of his close associate Subash Padhi in Banki was also raided and his bank accounts scrutinised by CBI officials for possible leads to Tripathy’s financial transactions with the tainted chit fund company.
Ashish Sahu, a member of the state executive committee of the ruling Biju Janata Dal, known to have been very close to some influential BJD MLAs and ministers including Tripathy, was also interrogated on September 14 for over four hours by the CBI for his alleged links with the AT Group.
A mysterious fire that broke out in the Banki Central Cooperative Bank, which had earlier been raided by the CBI, on Monday had raised suspicions of foul play.