| Crime Branch officials produce Tirupati Panigrahi in court in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, Dec. 25: Crime Branch today arrested the chairman of the Hi-Tech group that owns a dozen educational institutes, including two medical colleges, in the state on charges of cheating a man.
Additional director-general (crime branch) B.K. Sharma said the complainant hailed from the outskirts of the city. He lodged the complaint on December 23 against Tirupati Panigrahi, managing director of Rajdhani Estates and Promoters Private Limited, a sister concern of Hi-Tech estates, and two directors, Tirupati Choudhury and Madhusudan Panigrahi, accusing them of cheating.
Tirupati Panigrahi owns Hi-Tech estate, apart from the Hi-Tech Group of Institutions. “The complainant said these people had taken money from him to provide four plots at Sundarapada, but they, instead of providing the land or returning the money, kept on threatening him. On the basis of the recorded statement of the complainant, the money receipt and other documents, we have arrested the three people,” said Sharma.
The police seized many documents from their office at Saheed Nagar. A cyber expert team of the crime branch also verified the seized electronic documents.
Fifty-seven-year old Tirupati, along with his brother-in-law Tirupati Choudhury and nephew Madhusudan Panigrahi, were booked under sections 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
Sharma said the complainant had paid 30 instalments between 2006 and 2009 amounting to Rs 1.80 lakh. Though more than three years had passed, the company was not providing the plots, nor did it return his money. They kept on avoiding him, and later, resorted to threatening him.
The police are planning to seize the bank accounts of these companies, if proved that people’s money has been being kept illegally, said an officer.
All the three accused arrested by the Crime Branch were sent to judicial custody for 12 days after the sub-divisional judicial magistrate rejected their bail pleas.