HC relief for Chitra; Odisha cops to quiz her in Delhi

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Bhubaneswar,July 22: Even as a two-member team of the Commissionerate police left for New Delhi to interrogate Chitra Athwani about the stay of vice chairman of the Deccan Chronicle Group PK Iyer in a room booked in her name at Hotel Trident in Bhubaneswar, the Odisha High Court yesterday granted interim protection to the former airhostess from appearing before the Commissionerate Police to record her statement till August 7 .

The court, while conducting a hearing on Athwani's anticipatory bail plea, granted interim protection to her up to August 7 and directed her to depose before the investigating officer. The court has fixed August 7 as the next date of hearing on Athwani's anticipatory bail plea.

Athwani's counsel Partha Mukherji had applied for an anticipatory bail on behalf of his client in the case (No ABLAPL/9240/2015) in the High Court on June 25.

Inspector-in-charge of Nayapalli police station Suryamani Pradhan, along with another investigating officer, boarded a flight to New Delhi tonight, Commissioner Dr RP Sharma told OST.

Athwani had written a letter received to Nayapalli police station on July 3 expressing her inability to appear before the police since she was undergoing treatment for injuries sustained in a mishap.

In her letter, Athwani had claimed that she was undergoing treatment in a Ranchi hospital for injuries sustained in her spinal cord after falling in her home. Athwani had also attached a medical certificate to her letter certifying her indisposition and had requested to be exempted from questioning for now.

The Commissionerate Police has twice served summons to Athwani, the first time on June 16 and the second time on July 1, after finding that Iyer, who was wanted by CBI for an alleged bank loan fraud worth Rs 357 crores, was staying in a room in the hotel booked in her name.

Commissionerate Police is presently investigating the nature of the relationship between Iyer and Athwani since he was arrested from the room booked in her name on June 6.

During investigation, police found that Iyer had first arrived at the hotel with Athwani at about 2AM on February 14. They had stayed together for 10 days before she left the hotel.

Iyer, however, booked a hotel room in the same hotel in her name and continued to stay till his arrest on June 6.

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