Desperate to contain the fallout of the Saradha scam, the government is now moving at breakneck speed. On Friday, chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her senior ministers met governor MK Narayanan and handed him the draft of a bill that the government is eager to introduce and pass in the Assembly.
Emerging from the meeting, the chief minister told reporters, "We have handed over a copy of the draft to the governor. He approved it for the Assembly to consider." Banerjee said that a special economic offences court would try such cases in future.
On Friday, the government also decided to convene a special session of the Assembly to pass the proposed legislation relating to ponzi funds.
During the day, there were several rounds of legislative and administrative meetings over the proposed bill. It began with an all-party meeting at the Assembly premises convened by Speaker Biman Bandopadhyay, where Trinamool members of the government briefed the Opposition about various provisions of the bill.
However, Left Front MLAs present in the all-party meeting insisted that the government should push the Centre to okay the West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Bill, 2009, passed by the earlier Left government in 2009.
A controversy has already begun over the government's promise of making the law in such a way that it would have retrospective effect. "Any new law cannot have retrospective effect. Since the present government did not pursue with the Centre to clear the bill passed by us in 2009, the Saradha scamsters will escape," said CPI(M) legislator Anisur Rahman.
Like his Left counterparts, Congress MLA Manas Bhunia, too, expressed doubts on whether the retrospective effect could be applicable in the new bill. "Whether the retrospective effect will be there or not will be clear when the bill is tabled in the Assembly," he said.