Cong MLA got 1.5cr loan on forged documents. Odisha court gives him 3yrs jail

Published on Sep 29, 2022 11:23 PM IST

Congress MLA in Odisha Mohd Moquim was convicted and sentenced to three years jail by a special court for bank fraud. A dismssed IAS officer Vinod Kumar was among those convicted

Mohd Moquim, Congress MLA from Barabati-Cuttack, said he will appeal against the conviction in the Orissa high court
Mohd Moquim, Congress MLA from Barabati-Cuttack, said he will appeal against the conviction in the Orissa high court
ByDebabrata Mohanty

A 56-year-old Congress MLA in Odisha has been sentenced to three years of rigorous imprisonment by a special vigilance court along with three others including a dismissed IAS officer for submitting forged documents for a 1.5 crore loan from a state agency.

Mohd Moquim, Congress MLA from Barabati-Cuttack was handed out the jail term along with former IAS officer Vinod Kumar, realtor Peeyus Mohanty and company secretary Swosti Ranjan Mohapatra by special vigilance judge Satya Narayan Sarangi over submitting fabricated documents such as project estimate and fire prevention certificate to avail a loan from Odisha Rural Housing & Development Corporation. The four were also directed to pay a penalty of 50,000 each.

In June 2000, Moquim, who was managing director of Metro Builders Pvt. Ltd. along with its director Peeyus Mohanty applied for a term loan of 1.5 crore from ORHDC, a state agency to build 50 flats under Metro City-II project at Nayapalli area of Bhubaneswar. Though the realtor earlier defaulted in paying to ORHDC, the loan was sanctioned and paid in three instalment between July and August 2000.

The vigilance court said loan documents such as income tax returns, BDA plan for the project, project estimate and fire prevention certificate were not verified properly before sanction of loan. “During the investigation of the case, it came to light that the documents like BDA plan, project estimate, fire prevention certificate submitted by Metro Builders Pvt. Ltd. were forged and fabricated and such documents were used as genuine for availing the loan,” the judgment said.

Moquim said he and his company didn’t do any wrong and he will move the high court against the conviction order.

IAS officer Vinod Kumar, who was dismissed from service in February this year, was managing director of ORHDC along with company secretary Swosti Ranjan Mohapatra and approved the loan agreement though he was not delegated any financial powers for sanction and disbursement of loan by the company’s board of directors.

The loan proposal was neither placed before the corporation’s board nor before the loan committee for appraisal of the loan. No site verification was made before processing the loan application and during disbursement.

During the trial, the prosecution examined 17 witnesses.

Vinod Kumar was dismissed in February this year ahead of his retirement after two convictions by vigilance courts over financial irregularities during his tenure in ORHDC. He is named in 25 other cases of corruption including a case of amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Moquim also courted controversy in July this year after he said he voted for NDA presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu though his party asked him to vote for Yashwant Sinha. “It’s my personal decision as I’ve listened to my heart, which guided me to do something for the soil and that’s why voted for her,” he said. He was then issued notice by the party.

Vigilance officials said Moquim will be asked to surrender before the court following the sentencing.

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