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Big fish stay out of net as CBI goes after small fish in Odisha chit fund probe

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Odisha Sun Times  Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 28:

The much hyped CBI probe into the Odisha chit fund scam appears to be beating around the bush.

Pravat Tripathy ( pic- Biswaranjan Mishra)
Pravat Tripathy ( pic- Biswaranjan Mishra)

Firstly, the CBI team inquiring into the chit fund scam in Odisha appears stuck with some of the fringe and minor players. Even while probing the financial fraud by the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group, the Central investigating agency has stopped short of rounding up ruling party politicians though it has subjected some of them to several rounds of interrogation. Not a single official of the state government has been quizzed so far.

Significantly, the CBI which claims to have hard evidence of BJD MLA Pravat Tripathy’s links with the AT Group , has not only not arrested him even after the Odisha High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea, but has also not shown any interest in pursuing the matter any further.

Tripathy, after the last round of interrogation by the CBI on Saturday, told media persons that he was not questioned about the audio CD – that records his phone chat with AT Group chief Pradeep Sethy. If the CBI chose not to ask him about such a crucial lead in the case, what did it ask him? The post-Hudhud weather?

One wonders why the senior BJD MLA had to move the High Court for an anticipatory bail in the first place !

The task of probing the money trail in the chit fund scam and money laundering by the ponzi firms rests with the ED. However, despite a clear direction of the apex court, the state government has not been co-operating with the ED. What is shocking is its refusal to share crucial documents with the ED.

Why is the clean and transparent Naveen Patnaik government unwilling to share the documents ? Grapevine has it that these papers would land the ruling party in big trouble because these would establish the direct involvement of some top politicians, including ministers, as well as bureaucrats in the money laundering by Artha Tatwa.

There are also allegations that Artha Tatwa managed to get its SEBI registration with the help of someone, who is closely related to a very influential ruling party politician.