HC Grants Bail To Bhubaneswar-Based News Portal Owner In Rs 1 Crore Fraud Case

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has granted bail to editor-in-chief of Odia daily ‘Mahabharat’ and online news portal ‘Reporter Today’ Surjit Kumar Dhal in the alleged Rs 1 crore cheating case.

“Taking into consideration the surrounding facts and circumstances, the gravity of the allegation made in the FIR, the period of custodial detention as well as the fact that the petitioner does not have any criminal antecedent, this court is inclined to release the petitioner on bail subject to certain stringent conditions,” single judge bench of Justice Aditya Kumar Mohapatra said on Thursday.

He has been directed to furnish a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh with two local solvent sureties each for the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial court. “The petitioner (Surjit Kumar Dhal) shall also furnish a cash security of Rs 10 lakh before the trial court over the matter, which shall be kept in any nationalised bank in interest-bearing account initially for a period of one year which will be renewable from time to time till conclusion of trial and the same shall be abiding by the final outcome of the trial of the case,” the court said.

While mentioning about the broad allegation against Dhal, Justice Mohapatra further said, “This court at this juncture restrains itself making any observation on the factual aspect of the case as the same would likely cause prejudice in the mind of the trial court while conducting the trial.”

Dhal has been in custody since January 6 this year following his arrest by economic offences wing (EOW) of the state crime branch for allegedly duping a person and extorting Rs 1 crore from him by posing as an influential person. He was booked under sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC on the basis of a complaint filed by Kalinga Keshari Rath, a realtor.

His bail application was earlier rejected by the designated court under the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (OPID) Act, Cuttack.



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