Kolkata, May 9 IBNS | 6 months ago

The ruling Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal on Friday welcomed a CBI probe ordered by the Supreme Court in the Saradha ponzi meltdown scheme but hinted that they see more to it with the direction from the apex court coming just two days ahead of the sixth phase of polls in West Bengal.


"We welcome the judgement of the Supreme Court though the judgement has come only two days before the sixth phase of the elections- which some people are reading political issues. We believe in the Constitution, we believe in the judiciary despite the fact that it was ordered two days before [the polls]," West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra told reporters.

".. the CBI will get to the bottom of this and in all states," said Mitra.

In an apparent setback for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during election time, the Supreme Court on Friday directed a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Sardha chit fund scam.

Mitra, however, said that the Supreme Court has praised the investigation by the SIT (Special Investigation Team) set up by the state government .

"We have learnt that the Supreme Court has very clearly said that the SIT created by the West Bengal government has done a good job," said Mitra, adding that the apex court said any case filed by the SIT would be investigated.

"We are happy that SIT has been a doing a good job and that has been recognised by the court," said Mitra adding that CBI has been directed more because of the network of chit funds in other states and money laundering networks beyond the boundaries of the nation.

Mitra, however, said the big cases of West Bengal like the Nitai killings or the Nandigram massacre during the Left Front regime were with CBI but with no progress.

"We have not seen the outcome," said Mitra referring to the cases.

Mitra also did not fail to remind that Saradha had started operation in 2006 during the Left Front regime.

He said the chit fund scams of the 1980s like the Sanchaita collapse have not been resolved still despite formation of some commissions.

The apex court gave its verdict on Friday after hearing three petitions - two from West Bengal and one from Odhisa - on the Saradha case.

While Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh is in jail and he alleged that the chief minister was fully aware of everything, last month the Enforcement Directorate quizzed Trinamool Congress (TMC) Lok Sabha candidate from Balurghat and theatre personality Arpita Ghosh on the Saradha ponzi meltdown scam.

The ED has cracked whip on the Saradha family and associates of late taking in custody jailed Saradha chief Sudipta Sen's wife Piyali Sen and his son Subhajit in a money laundering case.

Sudipta Sen, the Chairman and Managing Director of Saradha Group, which allegedly defrauded thousands of small investors, is now in jail in the ponzi scam.

Sen had claimed that he was blackmailed and used by politicians mainly from Mamata Banerjee's TMC.

Sen and Saradha Group director Debjani Mukherjee were arrested in April 2013 from Jammu and Kashmir. He was absconding since Saradha Group collapsed.

West Bengal Finance Minister and TMC leader Amit Mitra earlier alleged that there is political conspiracy behind the Enforcement Directorate's probe into the Saradha chit fund scam.

Both Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi attacked the Mamata Banerjee government over the Saradha scam with Modi even targetting Mamata Banerjee for the astronomical sale proceeds of her painting which was reportedly purchased by Sudipto Sen.

TMC hit back to the charges of Modi and threatened him with a defamation suit unless he retracted his remarks.

(Posted on 09-05-2014)

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