Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 2:
All concerned parties in the case pertaining to alleged cheating of monies by Air Odisha Aviation Pvt Ltd (AOAPL) today appeared before the Khandagiri police station and recorded their statements.
Police today recorded the statements of complainants, officials of the private air operator, shareholders and witnesses.
One of the shareholders, Mitesh Khimji, a city-based jeweller has alleged that AOAPL has embezzled Rs 1.5 crore from the company.
“As the case is sub judice it is wrong on our part to comment on it. We have recorded our statement with the IIC and we have complete faith in the judiciary. The IIC has promised us that action will be taken. They have cheated us of Rs 1.5 crore. They are habitual cheaters what we feel. We have told that in our statements also,” said Khimji talking to reporters after recording his statement at the Khandagiri police station here today.
“They have taken Rs 1.5 crore from my client Mitesh Khimji to transfer 40% of the shares of the company to him. Now they are not allotting shares to my client. As per the shareholder agreement a joint bank account was to be opened in which government’s subsidy and proceeds from the sale of tickets was to be deposited. But without informing my client they have diverted this money to another account,” stated Yuvraj Barik, counsel of Mitesh Khimji.
“They haven’t transferred shares to anyone till date. Mitesh Khimji was to get 40%, I was to get 10% and another person was to get 10% of the shares. Flights are not going to stop. If not Air Odisha some other operator will operate intra-state flights. This has nothing to do with the operation of flights. This is personal matter pertaining cheating by them,” said Tridib Rout an erstwhile employee of the private air operator.
On the other hand, Santosh Pani, a director of AOAPL said that such allegations have been levelled for seeking cheap publicity. He said that they too would be moving the court.
“They are bringing such allegations for getting cheap publicity. We too will also take shelter of the court,” said Pani in his reactions to the media.
Later in the evening Santosh Pani filed a counter FIR against Mitesh Khimji and Tridib Rout at the Khandagiri police station.
Notably, Khimji had moved the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court here alleging that the private air carrier had duped him of Rs 1.5 crore.
As per the directive of SDJM court here, police had registered a cheating case against AOAPL and its board of directors here on Saturday.
Khimji had named AOAPL CMD Radhakanta Pani and its directors Ashutosh Pani and Santosh Pani as accused in the complaint.
The SDJM court on Thursday had directed the Khandagiri police to register a case against the company and its directors under section 406, 417, 420, 506 and 120 (B) of IPC and initiate a probe into the matter.
The petitioners Binod Roy Khimji, managing director of Khimji Jewellers (KD & Sons Pvt Ltd), and its other directors had alleged that the chartered carrier cheated their company of Rs 1.5 crore as they had promised to allot 40% shares of the company as against their investment.
The Khimjis had further alleged that the intra-state carrier diverted the money to some other account, in contravention of the agreement between them.
A joint account was to be opened for depositing the revenue generated from ticket sale and the operations. However, the aviation company deposited the money in another account with an ulterior motive, the Khimjis alleged.
It may be recalled that another investor Sandeep Ray, son of BJP MLA and hotelier Dilip Ray, had also levelled similar charges against AOAPL of cheating and filed a case with Khandagiri police.
Sandeep had claimed that he had invested Rs 80 lakh and was promised 40% stake in the company. Though he got back Rs 40 lakh, he wanted his remaining invested amount. When he asked them to return it, the company resorted to a dilly-dallying tactics and allegedly issued invalid cheques amounting to Rs 40 lakh.