HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

SC ex-judge slams Mamata over Saradha scam

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, September 04, 2014
First Published: 00:38 IST(4/9/2014) | Last Updated: 00:50 IST(4/9/2014)

Retired Supreme Court justice Ashok Ganguly has slammed West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, without naming her, over the Saradha chit fund scam.

“Someone claims to be a symbol of honesty. But during her tenure the railways strike a deal with Saradha. Isn’t this duping the people? I can go on duping people, but if there is an investigation, I shall cry conspiracy,” he said, while addressing a press conference on behalf of the Saradha chit fund scam sufferers’ forum.

Ganguly, who served as the chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission has spoken out on the chit fund issue for the first time since his resignation from the commission in January.

During his tenure at the commission — between April 2012 and January 2014 — Ganguly had virtually been the lone dissenting voice against Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress government on human rights issues.

On Wednesday, while addressing a press conference on the Saradha scam, Ganguly lashed out at the Bengal government. “How could Saradha tour and travels get railways contracts within three years of the company being floated?” Ganguly asked. “The railways’ logo in Saradha’s advertisements only helped increase the group’s credibility,” he  added. “No other state government except West Bengal opposed the CBI probes into the Saradha scam. Anyone can understand why the Bengal government was objecting to it” he remarked.

From slapping fines on the government for comments made by the chief minister about  Belpahari farmers to penalising the police for harassment of a university professor for circulating a spoof on Banerjee to publicly reprimanding senior officials — Ganguly had caused a series of embarrassments for the state government as the state human rights commission chairman.

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