Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 9:
Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra has welcomed the Supreme Court order for a CBI probe into the chit fund scam, saying the apex court’s verdict has proved beyond doubt that the state government was trying to protect the offenders who have duped lakhs of depositors of their hard earned money by spending lakhs of rupees from tax payers’ money towards fees and allowances to senior lawyers to ward off a CBI probe.
Talking to OTV, Mishra said now everything will come out in the open.
“Often the names of several politicians have come up for their involvement in the scam, even the name of the chief minister had come up, so a probe by the CBI will make things clear” he said.
Senior BJP leader Suresh Pujari has also welcomed the CBI probe, saying the state government should have handed over the probe to the CBI on its own, as suggested by them much earlier, instead of arguing that the state Crime Branch was good enough to handle the task.
Former union minister and senior BJP leader Jual Oram said his party had been demanding the CBI probe since long.
“The apex court has realised the need for such a probe. We welcome the court’s decision. We hope the CBI will identify the politicians and officials who provided patronage to ponzi schemes operators, and prosecute them,” Oram said.
However, senior BJD leader and Rajya Sabha member Kalpataru Das has denied allegations that leaders of the ruling BJD were involved in the scam.
Das said the state government had done everything within its means to nab the culprits and has in fact formed a corpus fund to repay depositors. It has also passed new laws to protect the interest of depositors and confiscated the properties of ponzi companies, he said.
The senior BJD leader also said the CBI probe will be able to probe the inter-state ramifications of the scam.
The SC Friday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate into the chit fund scams in several states including Odisha.
The alleged scams came to light after many investors few years back complained that several firms collected huge amounts of money from them promising high returns, but later refused to pay back as promised.
At least 44 companies in Odisha will be probed by the CBI. They include Kolkata-based Saradha Group, and Odisha-based Seashore and Artha Tatwa groups. The loss from the scam is claimed to be running into billions of rupees.
He said the state government had already made it clear to the Supreme Court during the last hearing that if the court so desires, in the interest of the case, it can order a CBI probe.
(With inputs from IANS)