Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 16:
The special chief judicial magistrate today rejected the bail application of local television channel owner Manoj Das, who was arrested by the CBI for his suspected links with the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group, a key player in the multi-thousand crore chit fund scam in Odisha.
Das was sent to jail on a 14-day judicial custody following rejection of his bail application by the court.
The media owner’s lawyer had moved his bail application on Monday after he was produced at the special chief judicial magistrate court here. After hearing his bail application, the court had kept its judgment reserved yesterday.
Both Das and another media owner, proprietor of Odia newspaper ‘Odisha Bhaskar’ Madhu Mohanty, were arrested by the CBI on Sunday for their suspected complicity in the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group scam.
Curiously, while the CBI had sought to take Madhu Mohanty on remand for 10 days, it had made no such move in the case of Manoj Das. The court had allowed the CBI to Mohanty on a remand for 10 days on Monday.
Das had allegedly taken Rs 90 lakh from AT Group CMD Pradip Sethy for leasing out bandwidths for operating six television channels in the tele ports owned by him. On the other hand, Sethy had claimed during interrogation by the CBI that Das had taken the money as loan from him and had not returned it.
During interrogations by the CBI, Das managed to produce document/agreement pertaining to the leasing of bandwidth for operating only one television channel in his teleport for Rs 15 lakh to Sethy while failing to produce documents for the other bandwidths for operating five more channels ad failing to account for the rest Rs 75 lakh, said sources.