HC directs ED counsel to appear before CBI
He has been accused of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery for the purpose of cheating, using as genuine a forged.
The Orissa High Court Wednesday directed a public prosecutor of Enforcement Directorate, who is an accused in the Artha Tatwa chit fund scam, to appear before the CBI investigation officer on April 2 for interrogation. Notably, the ED is also probing the chit fund scam.
The court, while adjudicating over an anticipatory bail application of Debashis Panda, currently public prosecutor for ED in its Orissa sub-zonal office, gave this direction when CBI pleaded that the appearance of the accused before the investigation officer is necessary to carry forward the probe. Panda has also served as additional government advocate in Orissa High Court. CBI sources said Panda has been avoiding appearing before the investigation officer despite being repeatedly asked to do so.
The CBI had booked Panda in June last year over his involvement in the chit fund scam. Panda had signed as a witness in sale deed of the house that former advocate general Ashok Mohanty had purchased from Artha Tatwa chief Pradeep Sethy. He has been accused of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery for the purpose of cheating, using as genuine a forged document and criminal intimidation.
The CBI had also seized incriminating documents about Panda from the house of arrested former CID Deputy SP Pramod Panda in December.
Apprehending arrest, Panda had moved the High Court for anticipatory bail. In October, the High Court gave him an interim protection, saying that in the event of his arrest by CBI, Panda would be released on a personal bail bond of Rs 10,000. This interim protection is still in effect.
Source:: Indian Express