The Orissa High Court on Monday rejected anticipatory bail plea of former CID officer Pramod Kumar Panda, clearing the way for the first arrest of a police officer in the multi-crore chit fund scam case.
Panda, who was suspended for allegedly threatening a petitioner in the case before being reinstated as DSP in Nayagarh district, has been under the CBI scanner for his close links with the Artha Tatwa group. During a raid at his residence, the CBI had seized a few documents and even a copy of chargesheet against Jagabandhu Panda who is an accused in the case.
Apprehending his arrest, the police officer had moved the High Court seeking anticipatory bail, but the court rejected his plea.
In January, he had allegedly threatened Alok Jena whose petition resulted in the Supreme Court ordering a CBI probe into the scam. Panda is said to have tried to force his way to a housing society in Dwarka area of New Delhi, where the petitioner was staying and took photographs of the building. A day later, when Jena was waiting for his advocate in the Supreme Court canteen, Panda met him and reportedly threatened him.
Last month, senior IPS officer Rajesh Kumar and Satish Gajbhiye have also been interrogated by the CBI for their alleged links with chit fund firm Seashore.
The CBI officials said some funds from the AT group accounts were diverted to an account of a computer centre run by Panda’s close aide.
Meanwhile, the CBI has appealed to the court to take Durga Prasad Mishra, chief of chit fund group Microfinance Limited, on a seven-day remand.
Mishra, who owns a host of companies, including a TV channel, allegedly defrauded investors to the tune of Rs 500 crore.
He was arrested by the CBI on Sunday after being on the run for over nine months.