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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has slapped criminal conspiracy charges against Laxmibilasini Biswal and Pratima Hota, wives of BJD MLA Prabhat Biswal and retired OAS officer Pradeep Hota, respectively, in its supplementary charge-sheet filed in the connection with the multi-crore Seashore chit fund scam.

In the charge-sheet, the investigating agency has indicted Prabhat Biswal for allowing Seashore Group to carry out its illegal activities in Cuttack and its nearby area for which he received Rs 25 lakh transferred to the bank account bearing number 30621606478 belonging to his wife Laxmibilasini.

Earlier, Laxmibilasini was quizzed by the CBI several times in connection with the money transfer. CBI has mentioned in its charge-sheet that Laxmibilasini had produced forged documents to substantiate her claim. The charge-sheet also mentioned that Prabhat had extended political patronage to the company.

"There is a provision of life sentence for the offence mentioned in the charge-sheet. There is no exemption provided to any senior administrative officer or any legislator. The charge-sheet was filed as the agency had collected some evidences against them," said senior advocate, Siddharth Das.

Similarly, the charge-sheet has stated that former Managing Director of APICOL (Agricultural Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited), Pradeep Hota and his wife Pratima Hota had suspiciously received Rs 19,70,925 in a joint bank account between 2008 and 2011 from the Seashore group.

Pratima Hota was falsely shown as an employee of Seashore to cover up the matter, read the charge-sheet.

"CBI has filed a charge-sheet and there are names of some administrative officials in it. It has also the names of their wives. If Prabhat Biswal has been arrested why others are moving freely? They are also not returning money to the 40 lakh duped investors," said Rabi Das, Convenor, Aarthika Sansthamananka Dwara Kshyatigrastha Milita Mancha (ASDKMM).

In the meantime, the State government has extended the tenure of Justice MM Das Commission of Inquiry set up to probe chit fund scam and identify affected investors. Its tenure was extended for six months coming into effect from February 5.

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