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Odisha: Congress MLA Md Moquim sentenced to 3 years of rigorous imprisonment in a loan fraud case, granted bail

Moquim represents the Cuttack-Barabati Assembly Segment, and his status as a lawmaker is now being called into question as a result of the court's decision, which held him guilty in a 22-year-old loan fraud case.

In a 22-year-old loan fraud case, a special Vigilance court sentenced Congress MLA Md Moquim and sacked IAS officer Vinod Kumar to three years behind bars on Thursday. Moquim represents the Cuttack-Barabati Assembly Segment, and his status as a lawmaker is now being called into question as a result of the court’s decision. Nonetheless, the Congress leader was granted bail and stated that he will take the case to the high court.

Peeyush Mohanty, director of Metro Builders Private Limited, and Swosti Ranjan Mohapatra, a former company secretary of the Odisha Rural Housing and Development Corporation (ORHDC), were both imposed the same punishment in the case by the Court of Special Judge, Vigilance. The four convicts were sentenced to three years in prison and fined Rs 50,000 each. They would be imprisoned for an extra six months if they did not comply.

During Vinod Kumar’s tenure as ORHDC’s managing director, between January 4 and May 15, 2001, the loan scam took place. For its Metro City-II project, the state PSU approved Metro Builders’ request for a Rs 1.5 crore term loan, which it later received.

Kumar was not given financial power by the ORHDC board of directors at the time he approved the loan, nor was he permitted to sign the cheques. Neither the lending committee nor the board of directors of the ORHDC was presented with the loan proposal in favour of Metro Builders for approval. The Bhubaneswar Development Authority’s design, project estimate, and fire certificate, among other documents, were fabricated in order to get the financing without doing site verification.

The parties did not sign a tripartite agreement. The outstanding loan amount against Metro Builders as of October 31, 2007, was Rs 6,22,25,214. By forming a criminal conspiracy, all of the accused people caused enormous damage to the government and hence unlawful benefit to the builder.

17 witnesses were examined by the court before the judgement was announced. The Congress MLA responded to the sentencing by claiming that he had been set up in the case and that he would appeal to the High Court. The company had repaid Rs 1.26 crore of the Rs 1.5 crore, according to Moquim, who claimed that neither he nor his business had committed any wrongdoings. He said, “My bail has been granted, and I will move High Court against the ruling.”

Vigilance SP, M. Radhakrishna said, “The court of Special Judge (Vigilance), Bhubaneswar sentenced Cuttack MLA Moquim, former IAS officer and Managing Director of ORHDC, Vinod Kumar, Company Secretary, ORHDC  Swosti Ranjan Mohapatra, and realtor Peeyusdhari Mohanty, Director, Metro Builders Pvt. Ltd to three years RI and imposed a penalty of Rs 50,000 on each of them.”

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