The ruling Trinamool Congress and the West Bengal government moved the Supreme Court Monday, requesting it to monitor the CBI investigation into the Saradha scam and alleging the Centre was misusing the agency to destabilise the state administration.
Senior Trinamool leaders are behind bars in the multi-crore scandal that wiped out lifetime savings of tens of thousands of small investors in Bengal, Assam and Odisha.
The apex court had on May 9 last year ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the scam.
The petitions come days after chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s aide Mukul Roy, an MP as well as a party general secretary, was questioned by the CBI, with rumours swirling that he might turn on the Trinamool brass.
Senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mamata’s party and government in the top court, said a motivated investigation has been unleashed to victimise the Trinamool.
“Information is reaching other parties much earlier than the West Bengal government as there is a leak,” Sibal said. The petitions would be heard later this week.
Both petitions pleaded the court to restrain journalists from reporting “leaks” from the CBI and other “unfounded allegations”.
“Media reports of CBI leaks result in prejudice to the functioning and image of the state government and adversely affect legitimate development activities in the state,” a petition states.
One petition said the “delay and unwillingness” of the CBI had resulted in Saradha owner Sudipta Sen and suspended Trinamool leader Kunal Ghosh obtaining bail. Sibal also demanded an expeditious probe and trial in all Saradha and non-Saradha chit fund scams within a reasonable time frame.
The Saradha scam has come as a major embarrassment for Bengal’s ruling party with the Congress and the BJP gunning for Mamata whose aides have been linked to the scam.