Bhubaneswar: Even after Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the past three years into multi-crore chitfund scam, the victims are yet to get back their deposits.
Although, the central probe agency has filed preliminary chargesheet against 33 out of 44 chitfund firms during the investigation and many ponzi firms owners have been awarded jail sentence by the special CBI court, the depositors are still waiting to get justice.
Meanwhile, the assets of several chitfund companies have been confiscated to repay amount to the depositors.
Amidst uncertainty over getting back principal deposit amount from the government, the CBI has arrested BJD MLA Pravat Biswal in connection with his alleged involvement in the scam.
Here are the developments in the CBI probe into chitfund scam so far.
44 companies under CBI scanner
The Supreme Court had ordered CBI probe against 44 chitfund companies — Artha Tatwa (AT) Group, Seashore, Adarsh Group, ABC Indya, Safex India, Swastik India, Nabadiganta Capital Services, Saradha Group, Golden Land Developers, SR Green House, Tower Infotech, Zodiac Foundation, Real Tulip India, Eshore Developers, Remac Reality India, Midas Touch Group, Ramel Industries, Prayag Group, Rose Valley, Silicon Preject India, Asha Agro, Akhaya Gold Farms & Villas India,, Astha International, Nirmal Infra Limited, Mangaldeep Land Promoters, Infinity Realcon, Surha Sunmarg, Samruddha Jeevan Foods India, Rightmax Technotrade International, Sai Prakash Finance, Sastra Enterprise, Shine India Group, Samrudh Jeevan Multi Cooperative, Micro Finance, Real Foundation, Green Ray Group, Real Alliance Limited, Wetell Cap Solutions, Jana Mangala Agro, Green India, Magnum Group, I-Care E Service, Sai Prasad Group.
Preliminary chargesheet against 33 chitfund firms
The CBI has filed preliminary chargesheet against 33 chitfund companies so far. The secondary chargesheet has been filed against many ponzi firms. The probe into the scam involving 10 chitfund firms (few of them are West Bengal and Assam based companies) is underway. These included — ABC Indya, Remac Reality India, Ramel Industries, Surha Sunmarg, Sai Prakash Finance, Sai Properties, Shine India Group, Real Foundation, Real Alliance Limited, I-Care and Sai Prasad Group. The agency is yet to clarify to conclude the probe.
Politicians, builders, journalists and lawyers in CBI net
Several politicians, builders, media persons and lawyers have been interrogated and arrested by the CBI during the probe for their alleged involvement and associations with the chitfund firms. BJD’s Banki MLA Pravat Tripathy, Advocate General Ashok Mohanty, Lawyer Debasish Panda, journalists Madhusudan Mohanty, Bikash Swain and Manoj Kumar Das, builders Sagar Ray, Vineet Lalani, Odisha Youth Congress president Rajat Choudhury and model Priti Bhatia were arrested in connection with AT chitfund scam. Earlier, the Crime Branch had arrested AT CMD Pradeep Sethy for duping lakhs of depositors. The CBI arrested Mayurbhanj MP Ramachandra Hansda, former MLA Subarna Nayak and Hitesh Bagarti in Nabadiganta chitfund scam. Later, Rose Valley’s head Goutam Kundu, TMC MPs Tapas Pal and Sudip Bandyopadhyay were fell into CBI trap in Rose Valley chitfund scam. Similarly, Sudipto Sen and Madan Mitra were arrested in connection with Saradha chitfund scam. Besides, many bureacrats, chief minister’s private assistant, former MPs, IPS officers were interrogated for their alleged link in the scam. The CBI also arrested Seashore MD Prashant Das, his elder brother Pravat Das and middleman Subhankar Nayak.
Many pleaded guilty before court
On April 5, AT Group CMD Pradeep Sethy was first to plead guilty before the court. AT Director Manoj Patnaik also followed the same formula by confessing to crime before the court. While Sethy was awarded seven years imprisonment, Manoj was sentenced to four years in jail. Besides, another accused Mohammad Haneef was also sentenced to four years in imprisonment in AT chitfund scam and fined Rs 15,000.
Later, two accused in Astha Chitfund firm SS Shivaji and Santosh Kishan Sapkale were awarded 5 years jail term and Rs 15,000 as fine after they pleaded guilty before the CBI court. Bijay Rout, CMD of Adarsh Group was sentenced to four years in jail and Rs 15,000 as fine. Wetell MD Thakur Amarjit Singh, Real Tulip India’s five directors — Tirtha Haldar, Malay Haldar, Prosenjit Sil, Malay Guha, Dipankar Ghosh — were also awarded jail sentence for five years after pleading guilty before the court.