Bhubneswar: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Tuesday sent BJD MLA Pravat Ranjan Biswal to five day custody.
Police arrested the Cuttack-Choudwar, Biswal, from his Mahanadi Vihar residence at around 2 am on Tuesday over his alleged links with Seashore Group scam, a major ponzi firm that has allegedly looted over Rs 1,500 crore from small investors.
The ruling party sought to distance itself from the controversy that was all set to put the government on a sticky wicket.
“It is not going to affect the party as party has nothing to do with the scam. Whosoever has done anything wrong will have to face the law of the land. No one is above law. The law will take its own course,” senior BJD leader Dr Damodar Rout said.
Biswal and his wife Laxmi Bilasini Biswal were under CBI scanner for over four years over a land deal with the dubious firm.
“Centre is using CBI for political gains. This is vindictive politics. Centre used CBI against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Lalu Prasad Yadav and even media promoter Pranoy Roy. How long the chit fund scam investigation will go on? It’s over five years now. The Union government’s ulterior motives have been exposed. People will give them a fitting reply,” Subash Singh, BJD leader said.
On November 21, 2014, the sleuths had grilled Biswal and his wife at their regional office in Bhubaneswar for hours.
Earlier in January, the CBI had conducted simultaneous raids at Biswal’s residences in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack giving rise speculation to his arrest.
The MLA was under scanner over selling of piece of land at Benapur mouza in Jajpur district.
Seashore chairman and managing director (CMD) Prashant Dash had paid Rs 25 lakh for the land in cheques in April 2012. However, Dash had cancelled the deal later and wanted his money back, sources said.
According to the arrested leader, the money was returned to Dash in cash.
Sources said the CBI not was convinced with the clarification of Biswal and said the money was extracted from the chit fund firm in the pretext land selling.
At least half a dozen BJD leaders are allegedly involved in chit fund scam. Earlier, BJD Lok Sabha member Ramachandra Hansda, MLA Prabhat Tripathy and former MLA Subarna Naik were arrested by the investigating agency.
While Prabhat Tripathy is currently out on bail, the two others are still jail....