Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Mar 3:
The Odisha High Court today granted conditional bail to senior BJD leader Pravat Tripathy, who has been languishing in the Jharpada jail in Bhubaneswar since being arrested by the CBI in connection with the mega chit fund scam on October 31 last year.
The court granted him bail on a bail bond of Rs 10 lakh and asked him to surrender his passport.
In its order granting bail to Tripathy, the court asked him to cooperate with the CBI in its investigation. It also said it had taken note of the forensic report on his taped conversation with Artha Tatwa (AT) group chief Pradeep Sethy.
The court had reserved its verdict on Tripathy’s bail petition after hearing the arguments from both sides on February 24.
The counsel for the Banki MLA had argued that there was no justification for keeping him in jail any longer since the CBI had already filed the charge sheet in the AT group case in which he has been charged.
The CBI counsel, on the other hand, had opposed Tripathy’s bail plea arguing that he could influence witnesses if let out since he is a powerful person. Though a preliminary charge sheet had been filed in the AT group case, the investigation into the case was still open, he had said.
Tripathy’s bail plea had been earlier rejected by the special CBI court and the Khurda district and sessions court in Bhubaneswar. He had also been denied anticipatory bail by the High Court before his eventual arrest.
As news of Tripathy’s bail spread, his supporters assembled at the local BJD office and broke into impromptu celebrations bursting crakers and distributing sweets.