Police asked to submit relevant documents on frozen accounts
The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Pradeep K Mohanty and Justice S K Mishra directed the crime branch to submit the details before the lower court in Bhubaneswar within 24 hours on a plea by Panigrahi seeking a direction to the police to defreeze his bank accounts as essential services run by his group like running a medical college and hospital were being severely affected.
The bench asked the petitioner to move the concerned lower court under Section 457 of CrPC for activation of the frozen bank accounts. The lower court was also directed to dispose of the plea of the petitioner within three days.
Frozen bank accounts are termed as 'property' under Section 102 of CrPC and the police investigating into a criminal offence have to bring it to the notice of a magistrate.
Terming the crime branch action as illegal, Panigrahi had approached the high court seeking a direction to the police to defreeze his bank accounts as essential services run by his group like running a medical college and hospital were being severely affected.
Altogether 147 bank accounts of his group were frozen by the police.
The crime branch police however, had challenged the petition of Panigrahi and urged the HC to reject the plea.
In its affidavit, the crime branch police mentioned that the combined balance in the 147 frozen bank accounts was only Rs 2.88 crore, whereas the medical project of the company was run by charitable societies which had taken loans from the group.
The business tycoon dealing in several sectors, including real estate and medical education, along with two of his business associates, was arrested by the crime branch police last month on charges of fraudulent land deal and cheating.