Uliburu loot: Deepak Gupta family deposes before vigilance

Cuttack: After being on the run for over a month, the parents and wife of Deepak Gupta, the main accused in the Rs 1800 crore Uliburu iron ore scam appeared before the vigilance sleuths here on Tuesday. 
 
Lalit Mishra, counsel of the Guptas said, “Since the court had directed all the accused to cooperate with the vigilance sleuths in the investigation process, Deepak’s father Haricharan Gupta, Kantadevi Gupta (mother) and Nitu Gupta (wife) appeared before the court.  They are the mere directors of Deepak Steel and Power company and their role in the case is negligible. They have no vicarious liability in the matter.”  
 
Mishra ignoring media queries on Deepak’s whereabouts said, “The matter is sub-judice and I can’t say more than that.”
 
However, the counsel on the property seizure step by the vigilance stated that the case has been challenged in High Court and it would be of less importance as the accused have already deposed.
 
On August 8, the Keonjhar vigilance court after declaring Deepak and four of his family members including Champak Gupta (brother) as proclaimed offenders, had asked all the accused to appear before the Special Judge (Vigilance), Keonjhar before September 12. 
 
Officials of the probe agency had then stated that if the accused fail to depose by the given date, they might take steps like seizing property of the Guptas. However,

on August 21, the Orissa High Court had granted the parents and wife of Deepak Gupta interim relief from arrest till September 11.
 
After the Tuesday appearance of the Guptas, the vigilance officials asserted on the arrest of the main accused.
 
“Today we interrogated all the three and are trying to arrest Deepak Gupta as soon as possible,” Sashibhusan Mishra, SP (vigilance) said.
 

Meanwhile, the State government has so far taken action against 18 officials including two IFS officers for their alleged complicity in the Uliburu loot.