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CBI to form SIT to probe Rs10,000 crore Saradha chit fund scam

LiveMint logoLiveMint 11-05-2014 PTI

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) soon to probe the Saradha chit fund scam in which investors in West Bengal, Odisha and Assam were allegedly duped of Rs10,000 crore besides examining the role of market regulators like Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

“We will form the SIT as soon as the legalities in the case are finalised,” CBI director Ranjit Sinha said here on Sunday.

Official sources said the SIT is expected to be formed soon.

The Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe on Friday on a PIL and asked the three state police forces to cooperate with the CBI investigation. The CBI will also look into the role of regulators like Sebi, authorities under the Companies Act and the RBI as directed by the apex court. The court in its order had pointed out that there was yet another aspect which relates to the role of the regulatory authorities.

“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 T.S. Thakur said in its order.

The CBI will be collecting documents from all the state governments pertaining to the scam which has been termed by the Supreme Court as a “sordid affair”.

“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 apex court had said.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also looking into money laundering violation by the Saradha group. The court said that CBI would probe against Saradha and 44 other companies in Odisha which are allegedly involved in the scam.

Saradha group’s chief Sudipta Sen was arrested by West Bengal police in Kashmir. Kunal Kumar Ghosh, a Trinamool Congress member of parliament (MP), was also arrested on 23 November 2013 in connection with the scam. Ghosh was the media CEO of Saradha group of companies. PTI

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