The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea seeking a court-monitored CBI probe into multi-crore rupee chit-fund scam matters cases in Odisha and gave time to agency to come out with suggestions to ensure effective investigation of huge number of such cases in West Bengal.
“We see no reason to allow the application (seeking court’s monitoring of CBI probe),” a bench of justices T S Thakur and C Nagappan, which had earlier rejected similar plea of West Bengal’s ruling party Trinamool Congress, said.
CBI has recently moved the court seeking modification of the May 9, 2014 order asking it to take over the entire probe into chit fund scams in West Bengal, Odisha and Assam in which companies, including Saradha, allegedly duped investors of around Rs 10,000 crore.
Solicitor General (SG) Ranjit Kumar and Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for CBI, listed out problems faced by the agency, like lack of skilled manpower in probing all matters relating to chit fund scam cases, especially in West Bengal.
The SG said CBI has taken over probe against the firms which has “paid up capital of Rs 50 lakh and there are minimum five FIRs against them” in connection with the offence as it is “not possible” to investigate all kind of complaints of private investors against all the companies.
The bench said, “this distinction only shows that you (CBI) are investigating bigger company and not the small companies”.
“Number of under-investigation (UI) cases which have not been taken over by CBI in West Bengal is 393 and they relate to complaints of private investors for refund of deposited monies to the tune of Rs one to five lakh. State CID may be allowed to continue with the investigation,” the SG said.
To this, the bench said “you (CBI) are investigating the cases with larger conspiracy angle where large number of people, who were supposed to regulate or police, came together and allowed duping of gullible depositors…
“If that is so then what happens if you leave some of them to go state police… Where upon trial, they (cases) lead to acquittal.”
It said such inconsistencies may create “100 holes” in CBI’s cases in other related cases.