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Odisha Police recommends Income Tax to probe into "benami transaction" in Sarua land scam

Odisha Police recommends Income Tax to probe into "benami transaction" in Sarua land scam
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530
Bhubaneswar, Nov 5 (PTI) Odisha Police on Thursday

requested the Income Tax department to investigate the benami

transaction angle in the land scam allegedly committed by

Odisha Infra Tech Private Limited during purchase of land from

scheduled caste people at Sarua village in Khurda district.

The Economic Offence Wing will continue to probe into

other aspects of the case while IT has been recommended to

probe into the benami transaction as per the provision of

Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, Crime Branch ADGP

Soumendra Priyadarshi told reporters here.

As the state police have no authority to investigate

benami transactions, it urged the Income Tax Department to

probe the matter, the ADGP said.

"As per preliminary enquiry done by the EOW prima

facie it is established that Odisha Infratech Pvt Ltd had

usurped land through frauds, cheating and intimidation from

some scheduled caste people and other scheduled caste persons,

which is a cognizable offence," the EOW said in a statement.

Naming BJP national vice-president and former MP

Baijaynt Panda and his wife Jagi Mangat Panda as promoters of

the Odisha Infra Tech Private Limited, an official release

issued by the EOW said: "Odisha Infra Tech Private Limited

used a driver (belonging to schedule caste) of one of the

directors, to act as a conduit to purchase these lands."

The investigating agency said more than 7 acres of

land was purchased by the company in the name of one Rabi

Sethi and later sold. However, he (Sethi) was never in

possession of the land. Scheduled Caste (SC) people have been

cheated in the incident while Rabi Sethi was used as a

conduit, the EOW said.

"The account of Sethi has been verified by EOW and no

money was given in this regard to him. Later, it also came to

light that the lands bought in 2010 to 2013 in the name of

Sethi and later sold in 2016 and 2019 to OIPL was never in the

possession of Sethi," the EOW said.

It said the lands were purchased from villagers of

Sarua in Begunia block of Khurda district between June, 2010

and June, 2013 at much lower price from villagers in the name

of Rabi Sethi, who was working as a driver of one of the

directors of the firm.

Possession of the land was never with Sethi, rather it

was taken over by the firm, the Crime Branch said.

The Government of Odisha had ordered a Crime Branch

probe in the land scam matter. Manoranjan Sarangi, a director

of the Odisha Infratech Pvt Ltd and also a senior executive of

Panda owned OTV, and one Siba Prasad Srichandan, dealings with

the company, have been arrested by the EOW.

Odisha Television Limited owned by Panda''s family in a

press statement welcomed the matter being handed over to the

Income Tax department.

"From the beginning, we have been saying that this is

not under the per view of the state police, but yet many fake

cases have been filed against our employees and group

companies, including Odisha Infratech Ltd and they are being

harassed," it said.

The OTV said: "Finally we are glad that they have

accepted it and have forwarded it to income tax dept as

demanded by us in Orissa High Court today. We welcome the

move." PTI AAM

RG RG


Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI

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