Bhubaneswar: Nine years after the Seashore chit fund scam rocked the state, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Saturday framed charges against former Choudwar, Cuttack MLA Pravat Ranjan Biswal and his wife Laxmi Bilasini Biswal for cheating, forgery and other charges.
According to an official, the agency filed the obligatory documents with CBI Court-1 here over alleged illegal financial transactions under Sections 420, 120(B), 409, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The next date of hearing was fixed for November this year. Former legislator Biswal allegedly entered into a dubious land deal with a man accused of the chit fund scam, pegged at `500 crore. Biswal came under the CBI scanner as a deal took place between his wife Laxmi Bilasini and key scam accused – Seashore Group chief Prashant Dash – over a piece of land at Benapur mouza in Jajpur district.
Biswal was arrested September 19, 2017, from his Cuttack residence. It is pertinent to mention, CBI had grilled Biswal and his wife at its regional office in Bhubaneswar November 21, 2014. Earlier in January, the CBI had conducted simultaneous raids at Biswal’s residences in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
The Seashore MD had paid `25 lakh for the land in cheques in April 2012. The money was returned to Dash in cash, the arrested leader had claimed. However, CBI was not convinced by the clarification of Biswal and said the money was extracted from the chit fund firm.
Biswal had moved the High Court pleading innocence for himself and his wife and sought quashing of the FIR. However, the HC in April had directed the CBI to frame the charge against the Biswal couple and complete the hearing within a year.
PNN & Agencies