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regular-article-logo Sunday, 26 May 2024

Orissa High Court upholds lower court verdict on sentencing Cong MLA to three-year imprisonment

Vigilance said on September 29, 2022, Md. Moquim was convicted by special judge, vigilance, Bhubaneswar, for offence of obtaining pecuniary advantage in favour of his company M/s. Metro Builders Pvt. Ltd. in guise of loans meant for rural poor from ORHDC

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 11.04.24, 06:39 AM
Orissa High Court

Orissa High Court File picture

Orissa High Court on Wednesday upheld the lower court verdict that had sentenced Md. Moquim, senior Congress MLA from Cuttack-Barabati, to three-year imprisonment in connection with the much-talked Odisha Rural Housing and Development Corporation Limited (ORHDC) corruption case.

The development has raised concerns about Moquim’s political future ahead of the 2024 elections.

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The Odisha vigilance in a release said: “The High Court, Orissa, has upheld the judgement of conviction passed by Special Judge, Vigilance, Bhubaneswar against Md. Moquim, managing director, M/s Metro Builders Pvt. Ltd. in the vigilance corruption case. It has dismissed the appeal filed by Moquim.”

The vigilance said on September 29, 2022, Md. Moquim was convicted by the special judge, vigilance, Bhubaneswar, for the offence of obtaining pecuniary advantage in favour of his company M/s. Metro Builders Pvt. Ltd. in the guise of loans meant for the rural poor from ORHDC.

Sources said the OHRDC had sanctioned Rs 1.5 crore loans to the Metro Builders in 2000-2001 for one of the projects for the construction of 50 flats. The Metro builders availed the loans by producing forged and fabricated documents. No tripartite agreement was executed between the parties. Their criminal conspiracy caused huge losses to the state exchequer and thereby caused wrongful gain to the builder.

Moquim was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of 3 years and to pay a fine of Rs 50,000, and in default of payment of the fine, to undergo further rigorous imprisonment for a period of another six months. However, the MLA soon got interim bail from Orissa High Court on a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh with two sureties

The vigilance said the convict Md. Moquim had moved the high court against the conviction order. “Today the Hon’ble High Court dismissed the appeal filed by Md. Moquim, upheld the conviction and sentence passed by the lower Court.”

The court had also earlier awarded punishment to the ex-managing director of ORHDC, Vinod Kumar, and a few other employees in this connection.

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