Bhubaneswar, Dec 16:
The Supreme Court today rejected the bail application of Tirupati Panigrahi, chairman of Hitech Group in the land fraud case once again, while scheduling the next hearing to January 6, 2014.
The apex court had earlier rejected Panigrahi’s bail plea on October 21 stating that petitioners must first return the land to the people for which the company had taken deposits and then seek bail.
Panigrahi and two of his relatives were arrested by the Crime Branch on December 25, 2012 here for allegedly reneging on the promise of providing residential plots to people after taking money from them in 2009.
At least five cases have been registered against the Hi-Tech Group by the Economic Offences Wing of the CB.
Earlier this year, the Orissa High Court had rejected the bail petitions of Panigrahi and others who were arrested in December 2012 on charges of land fraud.
The single-judge bench had held that considering the nature and magnitude of the offence and its ramifications as alleged, it cannot be taken as a simple case of breach of contract.
The Crime Branch investigation had revealed that more than Rs 315.96 crore was due to the investors.
The petitioners received money from 17,181 investors with promise of providing them with residential plots. About 16,901 investors have not got the land.
Panigrahi owns real estate firms, two private medical colleges and several professional educational institutes, under the business conglomerate Hi-Tech Group, in different places of Odisha.