AT scam: CBI seizes Debasis Panda’s SUV

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Bhubaneswar: Intensifying its probe into the mega chit fund scam by the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group of companies, the CBI today seized a Toyota Innova SUV which the Orissa High Court lawyer Debasis Panda had received from AT Group chief Pradip Sethy.

Sources said the CBI officials seized the SUV (OR-02-BT-0555) which was kept hidden by Panda. The vehicle, the cost of which would be about Rs 10 lakh, was allegedly gifted to Panda from Sethy, sources in the CBI said. The CBI claims that the seizure of the vehicle is a major evidence of Panda’s close links with Sethy and his Ponzi company.

Meanwhile, a team of CBI officials interrogated Sethy at Jharpada Jail for the second time today.

The Central investigating agency had arrested Panda and former Odisha Youth Congress president Rajat Choudhury after is first phase interrogation of Sethy in the jail on July 4.

Reliable sources said the CBI has also intensified its probe into the Pajero SUV which was allegedly gifted by Sethy to senior BJD leader and Food Supply and Consumer Welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma.

With the arrest of Panda, it is now evident that the CBI is trying to nail the persons having links with the AT Group.

On the other hand, protesting the arrest of Panda, the Orissa High Court Bar Association has begun its cease work till August 8. The secretary of the Association Bijay Ragada told the media yesterday that the Association will have another general body meeting in the afternoon on July 8 to decide on its future course of action.

“The Association has also requested all district bar associations to observe July 8 as protest day,” he had said.

Meanwhile, expressing its solidarity to the Orissa High Court Bar Association over the issue, the Bhubaneswar Bar Association today decided to go on cease work from tomorrow.

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