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CBI to probe RBI, Sebi role in ponzi scams: SC

“We have directed the CBI to investigate the role of market regulator Sebi and the RBI for effecting a mechanism. If the regulator turns a blind eye, it needs to be investigated. There is nothing which remains outside the scope of the investigation,” a bench of justices T S Thakur and Adarsh Kumar Goel said.

The bench referred to its May 9 last year’s order directing the agency to probe the duping of thousands of people of over Rs 10,000 crore through several ponzi schemes in West Bengal, Odisha and Assam.

So far, three TMC leaders including West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra, TMC MP Srinjoy Bose and Kunal Ghosh have been arrested in the Saradha chit-fund scam. CBI has also questioned senior TMC leader and former Railway Minister Mukul Roy in connection with the case.

The apex court, while disposing of a PIL seeking a direction to CBI probe into Rs 700 crore ponzi scheme scam involving firms other than Saradha in West Bengal, said “we have made it clear to CBI that it will have to investigate the cases which have been transferred to it.”

It asked senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for petitioner Subir Dey, to withdraw his plea and file a representation with the CBI.

During the hearing, the bench said that CBI had earlier submitted that it lacked manpower to handle all such cases.

“We have already told the CBI that unless it seeks modification, it will have to investigate the cases which have been transferred to it,” the court said.

In a setback to West Bengal’s ruling party Trinamool Congress, the court recently declined to monitor the CBI probe into the multi-crore rupee Saradha scam, saying it has not made any accusation that the agency was “negligent” in its probe.
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