A CBI probe into the multi-crore chit fund scam was prayed for before the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday in a set of PILs claiming that more than Rs. 30,000 crore have been swindled from unsuspecting investors in several states.

Submitting before a division bench comprising Justice Asim Banerjee and Justice M K Chaudhuri, counsel Subroto Mukhopadhyay claimed that poor investors from different states including West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand and Bihar besides Delhi, have been duped by Saradha group and some other chit fund companies to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore.

Mr. Mukhopadhyay submitted that as it was an economic offence spanning several states, so a central agency can only be entrusted with the investigation of the scam.

He stressed that any investigative agency of the West Bengal government could not investigate the scam.

He also claimed that names of some leaders and MPs of the ruling party had surfaced in a letter purportedly sent by Sudipta Sen, the chairman of Saradha group, to the CBI some days before his arrest.

As such, a state investigating agency would be unable to function independently, Mr. Mukhopadhyay said.

The hearing in the matter was adjourned for the day and would continue on Thursday.

The chit fund scam came into light since the closure of a number of media houses run by the Saradha group, whose chairman Sudipta Sen was arrested on April 23 with two conduits from Sonmarg in Kashmir, where they had fled from the city.

They are at present in the custody of Bidhannagar city police, which is investigating the case.