A court in the city on Saturday allowed the CBI to take on remand for 14 days the suspended BJD MLA Pravat Tripathy, who was arrested on Friday in the multi crore chit fund scam. Tripathy, the first politician to be arrested so far in the chit fund scam,has been accsued by the CBI of hatching a criminal conspiracy with chit fund group Artha Tatwa and receiving huge sum from it.
On October 20, the Orissa High Court had rejected Tripathy’s anticipatory bail application as CBI argued that granting bail to the MLA would harm the case as the money trail in the scam is yet to be established. CBI sources said the seizure of a 153-page document on Artha Tatwa from Tripathy’s bedroom was a crucial document to link Tripathy with the chit fund group.
Tripathy who was arrested by the CBI on Friday, was forwarded to court this afternoon. The CBI asked for a 14 day remand for further interrogations.
Earlier in the day doctors conducted a health check up on him at the CBI office here and found his health condition normal. Tripathy, however claimed he was in no way connected with the chit fund scam.
The senior BJD leader’s suspension has however created a rift within the party with BJD MP from Cuttack, Bhartruhari Mahtab defending Tripathy and calling his suspension from the party as ‘unjustified’.
“Pravat Babu has done a lot for our party as well for the state. I fail to understand what happened in the last three days that warranted his arrest by the CBI. During the hearing on his anticipatory bail in the High Court, the CBI had said that they have nothing against him, but only wanted to interrogate him,” said Mahtab.
However, BJD spokesman Samir Das said it was Mahtab’s personal opinion. “The party has nothing to do with it. Leave the CBI, even the High Court felt that there was prima facie evidence against him. The party president had no other way but to suspend him from the party,” he said.