AMBIKA PRASAD MOHANTY Vs. STATE OF ODISHA
LAWS(ORI)-2021-2-4
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
Decided on February 01,2021

AMBIKA PRASAD MOHANTY Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF ODISHA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

S.K.SAHOO,J. - (1.) The petitioner Ambika Prasad Mohanty has filed this application under section 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure seeking for bail in connection with E.O.W., Bhubaneswar P.S. Case No.09 of 2019 corresponding to C.T. Case No.03 of 2019 pending on the file of Presiding Officer, Designated Court, O.P.I.D. Act, Cuttack for offences punishable under sections 467, 468, 471, 420, 406, 120-B of the Indian Penal Code read with section 6 of the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 2011 (hereafter 'O.P.I.D. Act').
(2.) The prosecution case, as per the first information report lodged by one Sri Ratikanta Samal is that one Prafulla Kumar Sarangi, S/o. Bidyadhar Sarangi of Vill.-Baghathenga, P.O.- Taladanda, P.S.-Kujanga, Dist.-Jagatsinghpur, at present Plot No.LB-239, Bhimtangi, P.S.-Airfield, Bhubaneswar being an employee of Andhra Bank formed a Co-operative Society in the year 1995 namely 'Andhra Bank Employees Housing Cooperative Society' vide Certificate of Registration No.33 dt.26.10.1995 in the office of Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Orissa with a view to provide housing plots to the employees of Andhra Bank at Bhubaneswar. He was the Secretary of the Society. In the year 2009, Sri Sarangi launched a plotting scheme in the name of 'Hindustan Valley' at Madanpur, P.S.- Chandka, Bhubaneswar in Madanpur Mouza within an area of five acres. Sri Sarangi promised many of the bank employees and other known persons to have a litigation free residential plot in the project. In order to attract the customers, he constructed temporary approach road and installed some electric poles inside the project area. Initially, the land cost was Rs.120/- to Rs.145/- per sq.ft. which was enhanced up to Rs.225/- per sq.ft. Being attracted by this project, many of the bank employees, doctors and other renowned persons comprising of one hundred sixty persons booked plots in this project for their residential houses and to construct a good society in a compact area. The informant also booked a plot in this project and invested his hard earned money to have a litigation free residential plot. All the investors booked plots through payments by cheques and bank drafts to Andhra Bank Employees Housing Co-operative Society of which Sri Sarangi was the Secretary and handling the account single handedly maintained at Andhra Bank, Chandrasekharpur Branch, Bhubaneswar. After receiving the considerable amount of around Rs.7.00 crores from different investors, Sri Sarangi engaged one Bhubaneswar based builder namely Hindustan Builder represented by its Managing Director Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, S/o.-Muralidhar Mohapatra of Nuapatana near Durga Mandap, Cuttack and the petitioner who was the Director to provide five acres of land in Madanpur mouza of the project. In this connection, one memorandum of understanding was signed by Hindustan Developers represented by its Managing Director Manoj Kumar Mohapatra and the petitioner as Director and Andhra Bank Employees Housing Co-operative Society represented by its Secretary Prafulla Kumar Sarangi on 03.04.2009 to provide five acres of land and to develop the project. As such both Manoj Kumar Mohapatra and the petitioner of Hindustan Developers executed sale deeds in the name of the customers of the project on the direction of Sri Sarangi during the year 2009 to 2011. Out of one hundred sixty investors, the names of forty five investors could be ascertained who were their group members. Despite their persistent demands made since 2011 to Sri Prafulla Kumar Sarangi, Manoj Kumar Mohapatra and the petitioner to deliver the actual physical possession of the plots/lands, they failed to deliver the same. Though eight years passed in the meantime, neither Prafulla Kumar Sarangi nor the petitioner and Manoj Kumar Mohapatra did take any initiative to give possession of the plots to the customers. On the contrary, they avoided the customers continuously with different pleas for which the project area was lying unutilized without any development. The accused persons removed the electric poles which were installed by them during site visit of the customers. Finding no way out, the customers approached Sri Sarangi to refund the invested amount but he deliberately avoided to refund their hard earned money with different pleas. It is further stated in the F.I.R. that the accused persons without having perfect right, title and interest over the land sold away the same to many of the depositors fraudulently and they in connivance with each other collected huge amount from many persons by executing false deeds with dishonest intention to cheat the investors and accordingly cheated them and misappropriated their hard earned money to the tune of Rs.7.00 crores. It is further stated that Andhra Bank Employees Housing Cooperative Society and others by preparing forged documents have cheated the general public for their personal gain.
(3.) During course of investigation, it was ascertained that Andhra Bank Employees Housing Co-operative Society was registered at the office of Registrar Co-operative Society, Orissa vide Registration No.33 dt.26.10.1995 having its office at M-14, Baramunda, Bhubaneswar. Subsequently, it was shifted to Pokhariput, Bhubaneswar in the year 2014 and this office was closed. Sri Prafulla Kumar Sarangi was the Secretary of the said Co-operative Society. In the year 2009, Sri Sarangi launched a plotting scheme in the name of Hindustan Valley at Madanpur, Bhubaneswar in Madanpur mouza within an area of five acres. Sri Sarangi insisted many bank officials and other known persons to have a litigation free residential developed plots with approach road to this project. In order to attract the customers, he had constructed temporary approach road and installed some electric poles inside the project area. Initially, the land cost was Rs.120/- to Rs.145/- per sq.ft. which was enhanced up to Rs.225/- per sq.ft. Being attracted to this project, many of the bank employees, doctors and other renowned persons comprising of one hundred sixty persons booked plots in the project for their residential house and to construct a good society in a compact area. Being induced by Sri Prafulla Kumar Sarangi, the informant also booked a plot in this project and invested his hard earned money to have a litigation free residential plot in the Project. All the investors booked plots through payments by cheques and bank drafts to Andhra Bank Employees Housing Co-operative Society of which Sri Sarangi was the Secretary and handling the account maintained at Andhra Bank, Chandrasekharpur Branch, Bhubaneswar. After receiving the considerable amount of around Rs.7.00 crores from different investors, Sri Sarangi engaged one Bhubaneswar based builder namely Hindustan Builder represented by its Managing Director Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, S/o.-Muralidhar Mohapatra of Nuapatana near Durga Mandap, Cuttack and the petitioner as Director to provide five acres of land in Madanpur mouza of the project. In this connection, one Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Hindustan Developers represented by its M.D Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, the petitioner as Director and Andhra Bank Employees Housing Cooperative Society represented by its Secretary Prafulla Kumar Sarangi on 03.04.2009 to provide five acres of land and to develop the project. As such, both Manoj Kumar Mohapatra and the petitioner of Hindustan Developers have executed sale deeds in the name of the customers of the project on the direction of Sri Sarangi during the year 2009 to 2013. Despite their persistent demands made since 2011 to Sri Prafulla Kumar Sarangi, the petitioner and Manoj Kumar Mohapatra to deliver the actual possession of the plots/lands, they failed to deliver the same. Though ten years in the meantime elapsed, neither Manoj Mohapatra nor the petitioner and Prafulla Kumar Sarangi did take any step to give possession of the developed plots to the customer. On the contrary, they avoided them continuously with different pleas. The project area was lying unused without any development. The accused persons also removed the electric poles which were installed by them during site visit of the customers. Finding no other way, the customers approached Sri Sarangi to refund the invested amount but he deliberately avoided to refund the money taking different pleas. It was found during investigation that the accused persons without having any perfect right, title and interest over the land, sold away the same to many of the customers fraudulently. The accused persons in connivance with each other collected huge amount of money from many persons by executing false deeds with dishonest intention to cheat the investors and accordingly they cheated them and misappropriated their hard earned money to the rune of Rs.7.00 crores. Thus, Andhra Bank Employees Housing Cooperative Society and others by preparing forged documents cheated the general public for their personal gain. Though the registration of the plot was made in the year 2009 but the society failed to give possession of the purchased plot. The petitioner and the co-accused persons falsely told the customers to have right and title of entire Hindustan Valley Project but, in fact, they had not purchased genuine plots on which they could construct approach road to sold out plots. They had got prior knowledge that they were not having right and title over the area but all the same, with an intention to deceive the customers, they had received the payment. Though, the accused persons registered the land but it is not fulfilling any of the purpose of the informant and others to have a plot in nearby of Bhubaneswar. As such they deceived the informant and other investors with an amount of more than Rs.7.00 crores on the basis of fabricated documents. In spite of repeated approach of the customers to the accused persons, they did not construct any boundary wall around the plot as promised though they had taken money since last ten years. In some cases, registration was made of plot to which there was no approach road and in some cases, registration had not at all been made though payment was received and in some cases, excess lands were sold in a plot to many persons creating problem in mutation of land. After misappropriating the deposits, the accused persons absconded by closing their office. During course of investigation, the investors were examined, the investment documents such as money receipts, deposits slips, sale deeds and other relevant documents were seized. Many incriminating documents were also seized from the accused Prafulla Kumar Sarangi. On scrutiny of bank account statement in favour of Andhra Bank Employees Housing Cooperative Society, it was ascertained that cash of Rs.10,23,73,127.50 has been entered in the account bearing A/c. no.128710100000450 w.e.f. 01.01.2009 to 04.06.2019 and cash of Rs.5,20,66,000/- has been withdrawn in the name of M/s. Hindustan Developers w.e.f. 30.04.2009 to 17.03.2012 by Andhra Bank Employees Housing Co-operative Society.;


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