Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Jan 31:
Four months and eleven days after he was sent to the Jharpada jail here after beign arrested by the CBI in connection with the odisha chit fund scam, Ranjan Dash, a close associate of Banki MLA Pravat Tripathy, walked out of the jail premises here today.
Dash turned philosophical when reporters waiting outside the jail accosted him for his reaction.
“The days I spent in jail were very painful. It was like punishment for me. Very soon trial will start and it will depend on the judge to provide the correct judgment in my case. I pray to god that others arrested in the chit fund scam should also be released from the jail soon, like I was,” Dash said while his wife, family members and friends welcomes him and distributed sweets to one another.
When asked about his links with Banki MLA Pravat Tripathy, Dash said, “Those who are linking Tripathy with me should stop doing so. I know Tripathy personally and I have good relation with leaders of other political parties too.”
Asked if CBI inquiry into the chit fund scam had slowed down of late and whether the central agency had been targeting politically driven chit fund companies, Dash said he has nothing to say on the issue as the case is subjudice in Court.
“I will discuss with my lawyers on how I should go about fighting my ,” he added.
The Odisha High Court on January 29 had granted conditional bail to Ranjan Dash.
The court had directed the petitioner, owner of Swastik India Multi-State Cooperative Society, to submit his passport before the investigating agency and furnish two bailers for his release.
Adjudicating the case, Justice Raghuvir Das, who had rejected Ranjan’s bail application last month, allowed it this time on the condition that he shall deposit a bank draft of Rs 10 lakh, furnish a property surety of another Rs 10 lakh and two more sureties having solvency worth Rs 50,000 each.
As the tentacles of chit fund scam are spread to other parts of the country, the court directed the plaintiff to surrender his passport with the CBI and asked him not to influence witnesses or tamper with the evidences during the bail period.
It may be mentioned that the court of Special CJM (CBI) on January 20 had rejected a petition of Superintendent of Special Jail, Jharpada to shift Artha Tatwa Group (AT) scam accused Ranjan Dash to the Circle Jail at Choudwar for his treatment at Acharya Harihar Cancer Hospital as he had pleaded that he is afflicted with cancer.
Rabi Narayan Swain, Superintendent of Special Jail, Jharpada had appealed to the CBI Judge to shift Ranjan to the Circle Jail, Choudwar as they found it difficult to take Ranjan to Cuttack for treatment at frequent intervals.
Along with expelled BJD leader Tripathy and Sethy, Ranjan has been named as an accused in CBI’s preliminary charge sheet, which was submitted in the designated CBI court in December last year.
Notably, Ranjan Dash is the second accused to get bail after the central investigating agency submitted its preliminary charge sheet in the multi crore rupees chit fund scam in Odisha.
Former advocate general Ashok Mohanty is the only other accused named in the AT group case, who has obatined bail, but he was given bail before the filing of the charge sheet against the company.