Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 19:
The District and Sessions Judge Court, Khordha today rejected the bail applications of the seven persons, including four present and former revenue officials, who were arrested by the Odisha crime branch (CB) this morning for their alleged role in the Ghangapatna land scam and sent them to judicial custody.
The seven accused – ex-tahsildar Arjun Baral, the then additional tahsildar and currently the Secretary to the Mayor of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Debasish Mohanty, record pkeeper Amrit Kumar Jena, ex-revenue supervisor Padma Charan Muduli and land brokers Abhumanyu Rath, Tikan Nayak and Niranjan Muduli – were produced before court this evening.
The accused were taken to Jharpada jail here after their bail plea was rejected by the court.
The CB, after registering a case number-22/14 against the accused, arrested them today and slapped charges under sections 467, 468, 471 and 420 of IPC against them.
CB sources said if necessary, they might take all accused on remand for further interrogation in the case.
“The Crime Branch would seek permission from the court to take these seven persons on remand for interrogation”, CB ADG BK Sharma said.
ADG Sharma said based on the report lodged by Khurda collector Niranjan Sahu, a case was lodged on September 9. Acting on the complaint, the CB started the initial investigation and arrested seven people this morning for their alleged involvement in the scam.
It may be mentioned that on the basis of the report by the Khordha collector and additional tehsildar Manas Samal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had ordered a Crime Branch probe into the land scam and had asked for a report to the government within two months.
A 12-member team of Crime Branch was formed following the order and conducted an investigation.
Earlier, the government had ordered the suspension of Tehsildar, Additional Tehsildar, RI and Sub Registrar of the area. The government also directed the Forest department to lodge an FIR and take actions against the officials involved in the illegal road construction in Ghangapatna.