Mrunal Manmay Dash

Barabati-Cuttack MLA and Congress leader Mohammed Moquim on Thursday was awarded a 3-year rigorous imprisonment by a special vigilance court in Odisha Rural Housing & Development Corporation (ORHDC) corruption case.

However, the Congress leader soon got bail and claimed to take the matter to the High Court. 

The court of Special Judge (Vigilance), Bhubaneswar also sentenced former IAS officer and Managing Director of ORHDC, Vinod Kumar, Company Secretary, ORHDC  Swosti Ranjan Mohapatra, and realtor Peeyus Mohanty, Director, Metro Builders Pvt Ltd to three years jail.

The court sentenced the four convicts to three-year RI and imposed a penalty of Rs 50,000 on each them. In default, they would undergo an additional six-month rigorous imprisonment.

According to the case diary, Vinod Kumar and Swosti Ranjan had sanctioned loan of Rs 150L to Metro Builders Pvt Ltd for Metro City-II project at Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar for construction of 50 flats.

On the direction of Vinod Kumar, a total loan amount of Rs 150L was sanctioned and disbursed in three installments.
The loan agreement and other connected documents were signed by Peeyush Mohanty for and on behalf of Metro Builders.

At the relevant time, Vinod Kumar was not delegated with any financial power for sanction and disbursement of loan by the Board of Directors of ORHDC. Even he was not delegated with the power to sign the cheques. In spite of that Vinod Kumar sanctioned and disbursed the loan amount to the tune of Rs 150L in haste by showing undue favour to the builder.

The loan proposal was neither placed before the Board of Directors of ORHDC nor before the loan committee for appraisal of the loan and approval.

No spot/site verification was made before processing of the loan application and during disbursement of the loan amount. The loan documents like income tax returns. BDA plan for the project, project estimate and fire prevention certificate were not verified properly before sanction of loan.

During investigation, it came to light that documents like BDA plan, project estimate, fire prevention certificate submitted by Metro Builders were forged and fabricated and such documents were used as genuine for availing the loan. The loan was disbursed without sufficient and adequate security.

No tripartite agreement was executed between the parties. As on 31.10.2007, the outstanding loan amount against Metro Builders was Rs 6,22,25,214. All the accused persons by hatching criminal conspiracy caused huge loss to the government and thereby caused wrongful gain to the builder.

The judge pronounced the verdict after examining as many as 17 witnesses.

Speaking on the matter, Moquim said, “If you are doing business and in the Opposition, then one has to go through such situations. This is a very old case. After so many years, the judgement has come out. The Vigilance court has given the judgement and I will take the matter to the HC. Everything will be done as per law.”

“The court of Special Judge (Vigilance), Bhubaneswar sentenced Cuttack MLA Moquim, former IAS officer and Managing Director of ORHDC, Vinod Kumar, Company Secretary, ORHDC  Swosti Ranjan Mohapatra, and realtor Peeyusdhari Mohanty, Director, Metro Builders Pvt. Ltd to three years RI and imposed a penalty of Rs 50,000 on each of them,” informed Vigilance SP, M. Radhakrushna.