The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the multi- crore Saradha scam has now reached the corridors of the state secretariat Nabanna. Though in a very selective manner, the central agency sleuths have started questioning selected officers in the state finance and home departments.
Nabanna sources said the questioning is centred around few specific areas, the prime of which is regarding steps taken by the state government on the alerts sent by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and bankers under the umbrella of State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC), West Bengal, about the mushrooming of the chit fund entities.
The second line of questioning is on why the state government did not act on the early alerts of RBI and SLBC, West Bengal, especially when the alerts came much before the ponzi bubble in the state busted in the middle of 2012.
The third line of questioning is on the details of internal communications within the state government after the alerts were received from the banks and RBI.
“The fourth and final line of questioning is whether there was any pressure from any level to ignore and suppress the alerts from bankers and if yes what is the level where from the pressure came,” a state government official said.
It is lear nt that besides some of the exiting officers of the state finance and home departments, CBI sleuths have also approached a couple of retired officers in these two departments, who were is service while the alerts came, to know about their experiences on this issue.
“So far, CBI’s approach towards these government officials is at an extremely low key, with the CBI sleuths instead of summoning these officers to the CBI office at CGO Complex at Salt Lake, silently approached them either at their respective offices or at their residences. However, the CBI sleuths have said that if necessary these existing and retired state government officers might have to face more rounds of questioning, for which they might be summoned to the CBI office in future,” the state government official said.
According to him, it was evident the central agency sleuths have specific information available with them and their questioning of the state government officers were to cross- check the information. “Specially, they were mentioning about some internal departmental communications, which were strictly classified matters,” he said.