Ramakanta Biswas

A special chit fund court in Cuttack on Friday sentenced two persons to rigorous imprisonment for five years after convicting them of cheating defence personnel of nearly Rs 29 crore by promising them land.

The court found retired colonel Rakesh Rana, chief of SWO (Sainik Welfare Organization) India and Purna Chandra Panda, managing director of Brookson Infra Private Limited guilty under Section of 420, 406 of Indian Penal Code and Section 6 of Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (OPID) Act.

They had allegedly duped as many as 542 serving as well as retired defence personnel of Rs 29 crore on false promises of land.

“Rakesh Rana had collected money from serving as well as retired defence personnel on the pretext of providing them land at affordable price. He collected nearly Rs 29 crore from them and later roped in Brookson Infra Private Limited to give the plots. However, they reneged on their words. Later, the depositors had filed cases with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Crime Branch,” said special public prosecutor Biswajit Mohapatra.

The court sentenced the duo to five years rigorous imprisonment and imposed Rs 1 lakh penalty each. Failure to pay the penalty will invite additional jail term of one year, the court said.

Moreover, both SWO India and Brookson Infra Private Limited have been slapped with a penalty of Rs 2 lakh each under Section 420 and Section 6 of OPID Act.