As the Opposition demanded tabling of the report by the Justice Shyamal Sen Commission, set up to probe the Saradha scam in the West Bengal Assembly earlier this week, many agents and investors are disappointed by the closing down of the Commission appointed by the State Government last year.
Justice (Retd.) Shyamal Sen Commission was wrapped up earlier this month as the government realised that the Commission cannot legally return the money exchanged between an individual and a private financial agency from the State’s coffer.
Sudipta Shankar Ghosh, an agent cum depositor who deposited nearly six lakh from his savings in a chit fund company, feels that it would now be difficult for the Government to return the money ‘fleeced’ by the companies. “Justice Sen Commission at least summoned the chiefs of the Chit Fund companies and made them disclose the collected amount,” said Mr Ghosh.
Justice Sen Commission exposed many companies such as the Pailan Group, and more than hundred companies were to appear before it.
“There could be more,” said Tarak Sarkar, a member of All India Small Deposits & Agent Protection Committee (APC). While Mr Sarkar was an agent cum depositor, Mr Ghosh was his boss in Pailan Group of Companies.
“The Pailan Group has not paid Rs. 373 crore to nearly 2.5 lakh investors, agents etc. They also digested the interest,” said Mr Sarkar.
Pailan, Rahul, Ramel, Angel, Silicon, Mangalam, Akashdeep etc. are only few of the many Ponzi companies who managed to evade much of public scrutiny.
It is anybody’s guess whether it is due to their political and legal networks or if the investigating agencies did not have enough manpower. For example, Pailan Group’s Apurba Kumar Saha, managed to keep himself outside jail, even after he failed to pay the investors nearly a year ago.
The reason perhaps is embedded in Mr Saha’s rise. In an interview in 2013, Mr Saha said he is the “brother” of late Subhas Chakrabarty, the all powerful CPI (M) leader, with whom he had a “familial relationship.”
It was during the CPI (M)’s tenure that Mr Saha acquired thousands of acres in south-west Kolkata.
He is now equally close to the Trinamool Congress and his lawyer is a BJP member. “I have friends in every party,” Mr Saha boasted in the interview.