Chit fund scam: CBI team meets senior West Bengal, Odisha officials

CBI`s Special Investigating Team has met senior officials of West Bengal and Odisha and sought their cooperation in collecting voluminous documents related to the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.

PTI| Last Updated: May 20, 2014, 20:01 PM IST

New Delhi: CBI`s Special Investigating Team (SIT) has met senior officials of West Bengal and Odisha and sought their cooperation in collecting voluminous documents related to the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.

The move comes after CBI director Ranjit Sinha wrote letters to Chief Secretaries of West Bengal and Odhisa asking them to provide logistic support to the team constituted to probe the scam.

With the first case in this scam expected to be registered at the end of this month, the SIT met Chief Secretary, Director General of West Bengal Police and state Home Secretary and sought their cooperation in collecting the voluminous documents related to the scam, official sources said here.

Later, they met the Chief Secretary and Director General of Odhisa Police and asked for documents pertaining to the case, the sources said.

The meeting comes close on the heels of the letters written by Sinha, in which he referred to the Supreme Court order asking the state governments to provide all logistical help to the CBI team probing the Saradha case.
"After going through voluminous documents which includes examining over 400 cases, the CBI will be able to make up its mind only by the end of this month about the number of cases that need to be registered," Sinha said here.

He said the focus of the CBI was to expose the conspiracy behind the alleged scam. The seven-member SIT was constituted to probe over Rs 10,000-crore Saradha chit fund case and collect documents from Odhisa, West Bengal, Bihar and Northeastern states.

The SIT, to be headed by Joint Director Rajeev Singh, will also probe the role of market regulators like Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and RBI.

CBI special director Anil Kumar Sinha has been asked to monitor the progress in the probe and exercise administrative control under the overall supervision of the CBI director.
The team was formed in the wake of the Supreme Court order on Friday on a PIL, asking CBI to probe the matter and directing the state police to cooperate with the central agency in the investigation.

The CBI will also look into the role of SEBI, authorities under the Companies Act and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as directed by the apex court, agency sources said.

"Investigation conducted so far puts a question mark on the role of regulatory authorities like SEBI, Registrar of Companies and officials of the RBI within whose respective jurisdictions and areas of operation the scam not only took birth but flourished unhindered," a bench headed by Justice TS Thakur said in its order.

Saradha Group`s chief Sudipta Sen was arrested by West Bengal Police in Kashmir last year. Kunal Kumar Ghosh, a Trinamool Congress MP, was also arrested on November 23 last year in connection with the scam. Ghosh was the media CEO of Saradha Group of Companies.