Report by Odisha Diary bureau, Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court on Friday granted conditional bails to Tirupati Panigrahi, chairman and managing director of Hitech Group. The apex court also paved way for release of two other directors of the real-estate company Tirupati Choudhury and Madusudhan Panigrahi, accused of duping hundreds of depositors of Rs 350 crores.
Panigrahi along with two other accused were arrested by the economic offence wing (EOW) of State Crime Branch for real estate fraud on December 25, 2012. Since then they were languishing in Jharpada Special Jail here.
Sources closed to the accused revealed the apex court granted bails after the defense on the behest of Panigrahi and two others, agreed to deposit Rs 63.5 crore, which is due on the investors. Today they were granted bails following the deposit of Rs 10 crore with the registrar of Supreme Court today.
The court asked the three bosses of Hi-tech Group to deposit the remaining amount of Rs 53.5 crore within three months, which will be refunded to the duped depositors. Later the Supreme Court will take a decision on which parameter the money would be refunded to the complaints.
During the previous hearing on October 21 last, the EOW alleged that the accused had embezzled of Rs 315 cores by promising of providing land and flats at their various projects.
“Today we had produced some papers before the court and assured that the company has only a due of Rs 63.5 crore not Rs 315 crore as claimed by the investigating agency. The court took it for granted and passed the judgment on bails,” a relative of Panigrahi said.
The court made it clear that the accused are not allowed to leave the country without its permission. They also have to submit their passports with the court. Panigrahi and other duo likely to be set free after their lawyer deposit the certified copy of the judgment before the SDJM Court here.
Following an appeal to revoke the restriction on selling of the company’s land and apartments, the court asked them to the lower court in Bhubaneswar is entitled to do so.
By floating number of housing projects and housing plots in and outskirts of Bhubaneswar, Hi-tech group and Rajdhani Estates and Promoters limited sourced crores of rupees from hundreds of people. Meanwhile following a cheating complaint lodged by a Nayagarh based businessman EOW on December 25 grilled chairman of the company Panigrahi, and director duo Choudhury and Madusudhan.
Earlier the bail pleas of the accused were turned down both by the Odisha High court and Supreme Court more than five times. The investigating agency also sealed the four storied head office of this fraudulent company along with freezing 18 bank accounts and several land and housing projects.