Biswal-Seashore Land Deal Papers Put to Forensic Test0
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BHUBANESWAR: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is giving Biju Janata Dal’s Choudwar-Cuttack legislator Pravat Biswal sleepless nights. A week after interrogating the MLA and his wife over a land deal with Seashore Group chief Prashant Dash, the probe agency has sent the land agreement document for forensic tests.
Sources in the CBI said the agreement in which Dash had allegedly signed to indicate refund of the `25 lakh in cash has been sent to the agency’s forensic lab at Delhi so that his signature can be authenticated.
This has put the BJD MLA in a tangle because the outcome could determine the veracity of the claims of Biswal and his wife Laxmi Bilasini that the deal was genuine and no illegal money transaction had taken place with the scam-tainted ponzi firm.
The 34 “guntha” land that the MLA’s wife __ previously a Zilla Parishad president of Cuttack __ owns in Jajpur’s Benapur mouza was apparently agreed upon for sale at `29.25 lakh in 2011 to the Seashore chief.
According to Laxmi Bilasini, Dash had paid `25 lakh for the land in cheques during April 2012, while the rest was to be paid after final registration of the property in his favour. However, after the May 29 failed coup attempt by Pyarimohan Mohapatra, Dash allegedly withdrew from the land deal and wanted his money back.
The MLA’s wife had told mediapersons that Dash was refunded in cash as per his wish. However, he allegedly gave no money receipts stating that he would carry out the legal formalities later and had signed on an agreement paper about the re-payment the same year in July.
The agreement paper in question was submitted to CBI by the Biswals and has now been sent for forensic tests. If Dash’s signature is validated, the MLA and his wife could breathe easy.
Interestingly, Biswal’s affidavit submitted to the Election Commission before the General Elections earlier this year mentioned about the land that his spouse owns. The property, which was bought in 2005 at `2.17 lakh, is valued at `6 lakh as per the market price. The land was almost sold to Seashore Group for `29.25 lakh.
The CBI is also seeking to find out if the receipts towards the sale of land was indicated in the income tax returns of the former Zilla Parishad president.
Meanwhile, senior journalist of Odia daily ‘Pragativadi’ Lalit Pattajoshi was summoned by the CBI on Friday evening and quizzed for his alleged links with Seashore Group.