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WB, TMC move SC for court-monitored probe in Saradha scam

A bench, headed by Justice T S Thakur, said it would hear the separate pleas of the government and the TMC during the week, after senior advocate Kapil Sibal alleged that the CBI was leaking crucial information to others even before they reached the state government.

"Information is reaching other parties much earlier than the West Bengal government as there is a leakage," Sibal said while asking the bench to hear the applications on Thursday.

Earlier the apex court, on May 9 last year, had ordered CBI probe into the chit-fund scams in West Bengal, Odisha and Assam in which various companies, including Saradha, while taking note of allegations of scamsters getting "patronage" of people in "high positions".

All India Trinamool Congress, through its state general secretary Mahua Moitra, has moved the court for being made one of the parties to the petition and sought a court-monitored CBI investigation in the scam.

"Direct and restrain the CBI to desist from leaking the details of investigation in the cases being investigated by the CBI in terms of judgment dated May 09, 2014 to the media/press," one of the pleas said.

The TMC is seeking court's indulgence by citing an earlier order in which it was said, "at this stage it is not necessary to constitute a team to monitor the progress of the investigation into the scam...we leave open that option for the future."

"The present Application is being preferred on behalf of the Applicant, the General Secretary of WB Pradesh Trinamool Congress, for directions in the present case since it appears that the CBI is now merely acting as an instrument in the hands of the ruling government at the Centre and seems to be conducting the investigation to strategically target prominent leaders of one Political Party (being the All India Trinamool Congress) so as to destabilize the State Government and try and leave the party bereft of leaders at the helm; in line with the political agenda of the ruling government at the Centre," the plea alleged.

It further claimed that the court's order was being "misused by CBI in collusion with the Central Government as a tool for political vendetta in the guise of an 'investigation'."

The CBI probe was directed towards "victimising and destabilising" the TMC leadership and furthering the "political propaganda" of BJP, it claimed.

"That investigation was handed over to the CBI on the hope and trust that a fair investigation would be conducted that would justify the confidence of the people and the faith of this court reposed in them.

"Instead, the CBI is conducting a motivated investigation contrary to the mandate of this court, whereby public perception now is that the CBI is functioning at the behest of ruling party at the centre for a political vendetta against the party of applicant," the plea said.

It cited news reports to buttress the allegations that the BJP leaders get the information, regarding issuance of summons and possible arrest of TMC leaders, before they reach the state government machinery.

"It is the same trust and faith with which the applicant (Moitra) has approached this court with the prayer that in terms of the spirit of the Judgement ...this court may monitor the investigation being carried out by CBI so as to ensure that the investigation is fair and without political ill-will and motivation and inspires confidence in the people of the state," it said.
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