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Court sends arrested AT group official to CBI remand

The Special Chief Judicial Magistrate court (SJM) has allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take Artha Tatwa (AT) group director Jyoti Jayprakash under remand for a period of 10 days to question him on his role in the chit fund scam case.

The official was arrested on Saturday by the CBI and produced before the court today.

Besides Jayprakash, the CBI also wants to take AT group chief, Pradeep Sethy under remand for a period of 14 days. The matter was raised before the special CBI court yesterday. But with Sethy’s lawyer vehemently opposing the remand plea and the CBI counsel seeking more time to prepare his argument, the hearing on the matter has been postponed to Monday.

While Durga Prasad Dhal, lawyer for Sethy, maintained that his client could not be sent on remand as state police has already filed chargesheet against him and put him behind bars since last year, the CBI said, it wanted to interrogate Sethy on the basis of new evidence emerging after the recent raids conducted at his office headquarters and houses of his close friends and relatives. In May 2013, crime branch of Odisha police had arrested Sethy following allegations that his company had duped investors of crores of rupees. The police has filed charge sheet against him and has so far confiscated properties of the firm amounting to Rs 400 crore.

During his interrogation last year, Sethy had said that several political leaders, bureaucrats and journalists had taken kickbacks from his company. As many as 55 persons including ministers, politicians, media house promoters, mine owners, builders and journalists are facing allegations of taking Rs 65 crore bribe from the AT Group.

The AT Group is among 44 firms under CBI scanner for duping thousands of investors in the state.

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