HC Breather For Congress MLA Mohd Moquim In Fraud Case


Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Monday granted bail to Congress MLA Mohd Moquim who was earlier sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment by a vigilance court in connection with a loan fraud case.

Accepting the petition challenging the jail term and penalty, the Court asked the MLA to furnish bail bond of Rs 1 lakh with two sureties to avail the bail. The next hearing will be held on October 13, informed Moquim’s lawyer Pitambar Acharya.

Moquim who is the Metro Builders Private Ltd managing director had moved to Orissa High Court challenging the judgement of a special vigilance court who sentenced the senior Congress leader three years rigorous imprisonment in connection with a 22 years old fraud case.

He is likely to be disqualified as an MLA as the vigilance court convicted him in the fraud case. However, he might remain in office if High Court grants stay on the lower court verdict.

Along with the MLA, the vigilance court had also convicted former IAS officer Vinod Kumar and two others in the case that involves releasing government funds to a company in the guise of loans meant for the rural poor.

While Moquim was the managing director of the company when the case was instituted in March 2005, Kumar was then managing director of Orissa Rural Housing Development Corporation (OHRDC).

The two others were the then company secretary of OHRDC Swati Ranjan Mohapatra and director of the company Peeyusdhari Mohanty.

The convicts were also fined Rs 50,000 each and in default of payment of it, they will have to undergo further imprisonment of six months.

While Kumar and Mohapatra were convicted under several sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code, Moquim and Mohanty were found guilty only under various sections of the IPC.

Moquim was elected as an MLA for the first time in the May 2019 Assembly elections from the prestigious Cuttack City seat.

Kumar, a 1989-batch IAS officer who had as many as 27 graft cases against him and was convicted in two cases, was dismissed from service in February this year.

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