Supreme Court orders CBI probe into chit-fund scam

Supreme Court orders CBI probe into chit-fund scam

 Noting that the initial probe into Rs 10,000 crore plus chit-fund scam had revealed the involvement of politicians in West Bengal, Odisha and Assam, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered a CBI investigation.

Kunal Kumar Ghosh, Member of Parliament, was arrested on November 23, 2013, over the scam in which lakhs of people were cheated through several ponzi schemes. Ghosh was the media CEO of Saradha Group of Companies.

A bench of justices T S Thakur and C Nagappan said that it would be virtually impossible for a state police to carry out investigations into the scam having inter-state ramifications and unearth larger conspiracy involved into it.

“Investigation by the state police in a scam that involves thousands of crores collected from the public allegedly because of the patronage of people occupying high positions in the system will hardly carry conviction especially when even the regulators who were expected to prevent or check such a scam appear to have turned a blind eye to what was going on,” the court said.

The court said that the respective state police agency had done well in making seizures, in registering cases, in completing investigation in most of the cases and filing charge-sheets and bringing those responsible to book, but had failed to trail the money . Relying upon a Sebi report, the bench said Saradha Group had floated as many as 160 companies and four out of them were the front runners in this sordid affair.

The bench noted that as many as 2,21,000 agents were working for Saradha Realty India Ltd and the report estimates the collection made by the Saradha Group of companies at Rs 2,459 crores. “That the companies indulge in ponzi schemes have their tentacles in different states giving the scam inter-state ramifications. That such huge collections could have international money laundering dimensions cannot be ruled out and needs to be effectively investigated,” it said.

The court ordered the Enforcement Directorate to expedite the investigation initiated by it into the scam The court said that CBI would probe against Saradha Group and 44 other companies in Odisha.

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