The Calcutta high court on Wednesday refused to grant the prayer for a CBI investigation into the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam at the present stage.
A division bench comprising Justice A K Banerjee and Justice M K Chaudhuri, passing its order on PILs seeking CBI probe into the scam, refused the prayer at this stage. The bench, however, kept the matter pending before it, while passing some directions to the state on the modus operandi of investigation, which is at present being done by the West Bengal police.
Counsel Bikash Bhattacharjee, appearing for one of the petitioners, had prayed for a CBI probe submitting that magnitude and ramification of the scam called for investigation to find out those who were behind this apart from the Saradha Group chief Sudipta Sen, who is in custody along with some conduits.
Stating that the financial scam was spread over several states and also abroad, he said that an investigation by CBI or any other central investigating agency was called for.
The division bench had appointed an amicus curae in the PILs, who had said that there was no need for a CBI probe at this stage and that the state investigation agency be allowed to continue its investigations.
Amicus curae Lakshmi Gupta, appointed by the court to assist it, said that the petitions might not be disposed of so that if anyone was aggrieved at any stage, could come before the bench. He also said that the terms of reference of the Justice (retd) Shyamal Sen Commission set up by the West Bengal government be increased to facilitate refund of money to investors of the Saradha Group, which is alleged to have swindled thousands of crores of rupees.
The division bench had asked the amicus curae to come up with his views on these points.
Saradha Group chairman Sudipta Sen was arrested from Sonmarg in Kashmir on April 23 along with two close associates. Sen had also in an affidavit before the court, opposed a CBI probe claiming that the state agencies were doing a good job and also prayed that all the cases filed against him in different places be clubbed and heard before a single court.