The Commissionerate Police has opened a bank account where refunds made by individuals and firms who had benefited from business dealings with Artha Tatwa (AT) Group can be deposited.
The move was taken following a local court order. The Kharavela Nagar Police had made prayer before the Bhubaneswar SDJM Court to this effect.
According to Assistant Commissioner of Police P K Patnaik, the SDJM Court passed an order to open a bank account so that deposits can be made there. “We have opened an account with the Treasury Branch of the State Bank of India in the City,” he said.
The proposal to receive refunds came after some people evinced interest to pay back since it was public money. Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) secretary Ashirbad Behera, who had appeared before the police after being served a summon, was among the first to make an announcement to this effect.
The OCA, which organised Odisha Premier League, a T20 cricket tournament modelled on IPL, had AT Group as one of its sponsors. Behera had then told the police that AT Group chief Pradip Sethi had paid Rs 1 cr to OCA towards sponsorship fees for OPL as well as Ranji Trophy and if the police or government can return the money to investors, he was ready to give it back.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of investors of AT, Seashore and other chit fund companies took out a rally in the city. They demanded that the State Government should vest the power of making financial seizures with the Finance department and not the police to facilitate refund.