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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Bengal scam

Saradha scam: CBI inquiry, multi-agency probe launched
HT Correspondents , Hindustan Times
April 26, 2013
First Published: 16:47 IST(26/4/2013)
Last Updated: 16:49 IST(26/4/2013)

The probe into the Saradha money scam is set to pick up pace with both Calcutta High Court and the Centre stepping into the scene.

Sudipta Sen was produced in Bidhannagar court on Thursday, and was sent to 14 days’ police custody.

On Thursday, responding to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed before it seeking a CBI investigation into the fraud in which lakhs of investors have been robbed of their precious savings, a division bench of Calcutta High Court comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi said that since the ramifications of the scam included other states, a central agency would, perhaps, do justice to the investigation.

The remarks of the judges came after Subrata Mukherjee, counsel for the petitioner, told the court that only CBI had the expertise and the infrastructure necessary to unravel the financial bungling of the Saradha Group. He also argued that since two of the ruling party’s MPs were primafacie involved in the scam, a probe by a state government agency would be biased. The next day of the hearing in the matter has been fixed for May 3.

The Mamata Banerjee government has already put together a special investigating team to look into the scandal. A judicial commission headed by a retired judge has also been formed to probe the massive money scam.

Shaken by the scale of the financial fraud in Bengal, the Centre jumped into action, with Union corporate affairs minister Sachin Pilot chairing a highlevel meeting. Emerging from the discussions, the minister told reporters that a special task force had been formed under the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to investigate the Saradha affair first and then look at the activities of other chit fund operators in the country.

There are other investigations that will be launched alongside. The Enforcement Directorate has already started a probe by registering a case of money laundering against the Saradha Group. SEBI and the income tax department is also looking into the murky world that Sudipta Sen presided over.


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