Air Odisha shareholding row: Counter-FIR lodged

Bhubaneswar: The shareholders’ dispute in homegrown chartered air company Air Odisha took a different turn on Monday after the company’s promoters filed a counter complaint against two of its shareholders, who have filed a case against them, with the Khandagiri police here.

Director of Air Odisha Aviation Private Limited (AOAPL) Santosh Pani filed the FIR against city-based jeweller Mitesh Khimji and Tridib Rout.

In the FIR, Pani claimed that Rout is ‘falsely’ demanding share without contributing anything. “Only he (Rout) can answer how he is demanding share in the business without giving a single penny,” Pani maintained.

He also stated that though the company had sent notices to Khimji on the latter’s demand of shares, he is yet to reply.

“Yes, as a shareholder he has (Khimji) contributed Rs 1.5 crore to the unit. But when he claimed his shares, we invited him for a discussion through a court notice mentioning legal hurdles, but he has not replied to it. Whose fault is this?” asked Pani.

On Saturday, Khandagiri police had registered a cheating case against three directors of the company for allegedly duping Khimji of Rs 1.5 crore.

Khandagiri police, which had earlier reportedly refused to receive the complaint, registered the case after Khimiji moved the Bhubaneswar SDJM Court. Khimji has alleged that the airline had cheated him after promising to give 40 per cent of its shares in return for his investment of Rs 1.5 crore.

Acting on the petition, the court had directed the Khandagiri police to register a case against the company and its directors under Sections 406, 417 and 420, 506 and 120 (B) (conspiracy) of IPC and investigate the matter, sources said.

On March 25, BJP MLA Dilip Ray’s son Sandip Ray had also lodged a complaint at the Khandagiri police against Air Odisha accusing it of embezzling his investment of Rs 40 lakh.