Cuttack, Aug. 31: Orissa High Court today directed the state CID-crime branch to expedite and wrap up its probe into the alleged multi-crore scam involving cheating of investors by Sai Pragati Assets and Properties Private Limited.
The court issued the order after the investigating agency submitted a status report on the ongoing probe.
The scam involving alleged cheating of more than 10,000 people of around Rs 500 crore had surfaced in the capital in February.
The case came under judicial scrutiny when petitions seeking CBI probe into the scam following allegation of inaction by the state police had been filed in the high court. Rohit Khan and Satyabadi Mishra filed two separate petitions along with 28 other investors, alleging that Sai Pragati Assets and Properties Private Limited had cheated them.
Acting on it, the court had sought details from the state government on the status of investigation into police complaints lodged by the investors.
The single-judge bench of Indrajeet Mahanty directed the investigating agency to take expeditious steps for concluding probe into the matter on all the accused persons apprehended and recovery of assets as possible, petitioners’ counsel Nishikanta Mishra said.
Mishra said: “The status report said the CID-crime branch had seized two accounts in the name of Sai Pragati Assets and Properties Private Limited and its sister concern, S-Virgin, with Rs 2.66 crore and Rs 14.6 lakh deposits, respectively. Apart from managing director of the company Debashish Mohanty, three others had been arrested.”
The high court further directed the crime branch to take steps to ensure the availability of the accused during the course of investigation.
The petitioners alleged that the company had lured them to invest in various projects with money-back scheme. However, the real estate firm did not pay back the cash. It also did not give any land to the investors.
According to the petition, the company had assured a payment of Rs 2.4 lakh in 24 monthly installments under the money back scheme against an investment of Rs 1 lakh. The payment had stopped after one or two months, the petitioner said, alleging inaction by the police on complaints lodged by victims of the alleged scam.
The victims had lodged two separate complaints against the company officials at Capital police station. In one of the complaints, the complainants alleged that the land they had bought from the real estate firm last year belonged to the Jagannath temple administration in Puri.
In the second complaint, they alleged that S-Virgin had also duped them. It had launched a marketing gimmick and urged people to invest in the company and send text messages from their mobile phones. In return, they would be paid a handsome amount. But, the investors did not receive the promised returns.