The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Calcutta high court on Tuesday that it was ready to take over the probe of the Saradha scam, which has hit more than a million depositors.
A public interest litigation (PIL) seeking CBI probe into the scam is to be heard on Wednesday. If the court rules in favour of a CBI investigation, it would be a jolt to the ruling Trinamool Congress, which is opposing such a probe, insisting that the police can do a fair job.
The PIL had alleged that since senior leaders and MPs of Trinamool Congress were involved in the scam, a fair and impartial investigation by the police was not possible.
At least two MPs — Kunal Ghosh and Srinjoy Bose — minister Madan Mitra and a host of leaders have been allegedly involved with Saradha owner Sudipta Sen.
Ghosh, who headed Sen’s media empire, used to receive a monthly salary of R16.5 lakh. Bose had a business deal with Sen. In a letter to the CBI, Sen claimed they had assured him of government protection.
The Assam government has already asked the CBI to probe 15 chit fund cases — including the Kolkata-based Saradha and Rose Valley — which have been active in the state.
Another suicide on Tuesday, toll 11
The death toll following the Saradha scam rose to 11 in West Bengal as an agent of a local chit fund in North 24 Parganas committed suicide.
Unable to repay his depositors, Mrinal Mondal (40), an agent of Self Trust chit fund, consumed poison on Sunday night. He died on Tuesday morning.
Mondal’s relatives said the company owned a shopping mall that had closed a few days ago. “Then the depositors stormed Mrinal’s house and assaulted him and his family,” said one of Mondal’s relatives.