Lawyers of the Odisha High Court Tuesday kept away from work to protest against the manner in which former ED lawyer Debasish Panda was arrested by the CBI on Monday over his alleged complicity in the Artha Tatwa chit fund scam. Lawyers of Odisha High Court Bar Association said they would continue with their ‘cease work’ till July 8 following a decision at the general body meeting.
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“We will hold our general body meeting at 2 pm on July 8 to decide on the future course of action. We have requested all bar associations of the state to observe July 8 as protest day,” said Bijay Kumar Ragad, secretary of Odisha High Court Bar Association.
Ragad said Panda was arrested even though he was cooperating with the CBI and attended to its summons. Panda and Odisha Youth Congress chief Rajat Choudhury were arrested hours after AT Group chief Pradip Sethy was grilled by the CBI in Jharpada Special Jail here.
Seashore chit fund company chief Prashant Das, his brother Prabhat Das and middleman Subhankar Nayak were interrogated by CBI SP and an investigating official in Jharpada jail Tuesday over their alleged involvement in the chit fund scam, sources said.
Meanwhile, CBI officials Tuesday conducted simultaneous raids on the offices of Chennai-based chit fund firm Sastra Enterprises in Chennai, Tripura, and Madurai, including Bhubaneswar, Baripada, and Bhadrak in Odisha. The firm has allegedly duped investors of around Rs 150 crore in Odisha.