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New ToR for Odisha chit fund panel raises hopes of return of money to depositors

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 10:

The Odisha government today revised the terms of reference (ToR) for the one-man Justice Madan Mohan Das Commission of Inquiry probing the multi-crore rupee chit fund scam in the state to include a provision for return of money to bona fide investors.

Justice MM Das
Justice MM Das

“The state government has issued a new ToR in which it wants bona fide investors to be identified and the quantum of their investment in various Ponzi firms assessed. Besides, it seeks suggestion on how small investors can be identified and repaid their investments through the corpus fund,” Justice MM Das said.

 

The Commission of Inquiry would accommodate the new terms of reference while working as per the existing one, Justice Das clarified.

Notably, the ToR in the notification on the Commission of Inquiry published in the Odisha Gazette in July 2013 did not have any clause for refund of money to depositors. The inclusion of such a provision in the new ToR has given rise to hopes that small investors would get back their hard-earned money.

It may be recalled that the state government has set up a Rs 300 crore corpus fund out of which it poposes to return money to small investors cheated by Ponzi companies.

“The digitisation process is on and we would be in a position to submit an interim report after getting substantial data on the investors,” the retired Odisha High Court justice said.

As per an estimate, scrutiny of nearly 6 lakh affidavits out of 10 lakh affidavits has been completed. Of these, nearly 1.5 lakh affidavits have been scanned. Besides, the data entry process is on as part of the digitisation process.

Justice Das was appointed as the head the commission following the demise of Justice RK Patra, who was heading the one-man Commission earlier, on January 28 this year. The commission of inquiry was set up in July 2013 to find out genuine investors who incurred losses in the multi-crore rupee chit fund scam.

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