Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Wednesday announced that his government was seriously contemplating handing over some cases against chit fund companies, including the Saradha Group, having inter-State ramifications to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The announcement came a day after Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Sarada Group Sudipta Sen was arrested by Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday. There were reports in the media about Mr. Sen writing to the CBI naming several politicians including a minister in the Tarun Gogoi’s Cabinet and owners of some private television news channels in the State.
Thousands of duped investors of Saradha Group have been on the streets for the past several days in different parts of the State demanding they be paid their dues.
State Director-General of Police Jayanto Narayan Choudhury told The Hindu that the Assam Police would be sending a team to Kolkata within the next three days to interrogate the arrested Saradha Group CMD in connection with the chit-fund scam of duping investors. He said three staff-members of Saradha Group were arrested in 2012 in connection with a cheating case in Jorhat.
The Gauhati High Court on April 22 directed the Assam Police to expedite the investigation into chit fund cases. The court issued the directive after hearing a PIL petition suo moto on a letter written by Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti leader and Right to Information (RTI) activist Akhil Gogoi seeking a CBI Probe into the swindling of public money in the State by chit fund companies.
So far, 222 cases have been registered against 128 chit fund companies in the State.
The Special Investigation Team probing the cases has so far filed charge sheets against 42 persons and 15 companies in 17 cases. So far, 303 persons have been arrested. Nearly Rs. 94 lakh in cash has been seized and amount of Rs. 24 crore frozen.
Altogether 106 bank accounts have been frozen while steps are being taken for the attachment of a number of landed properties including 99 bighas of land and buildings which have been identified, stated an official release.