Special Legal Correspondent
New Delhi, Apr 23:
The Supreme Court bench of Justices T S Thakur and C Nagappan today reserved its order in the PIL case relating to Odisha chit fund scam after hearing the final arguments from both the parties.
The court is likely to give its order once the Odisha government submits its opinion on the issue to the court in writing, sources said.
After listening to extensive arguments of Gopal Subramanium, senior advocate appearing for the Orissa government who said the investigations by the Crime Branch of the Orissa Government were very thorough and good, the Supreme Court bench was not inclined to allow the investigations to be continued by the Odisha Police.
Senior lawyer Subramanium conceded that the 37 companies in his list should be handed over to the CBI but argued that the 7 additional companies mentioned in the order of March 26 should be left to the state police as those were culled out of a list of 11 companies given by the petitioner on the previous date.
However, the Court, after listening to arguments from both sides, was of the view that it would in the interest of justice that the matters be transferred to the CBI.
The Court seemed inclined to hand over all the 44 cases to the CBI for its investigation and also appeared in favour of the CBI continuing the investigation rather than starting a de novo investigation.
The Amicus Curiae Shyam Diwan, senior advocate who had supported the stance that all these cases should be transferred to the CBI, added that there should be a time to time inspection by the court relating to the progress of the cases.
Counsels for the petitioner Alok Jena , Sunil Mathews, Aditya Shukla and Rajiv Singh pointed out to the court the instances of Green Ray International and the large scale operations run by them and the fact that they were operating in 14 States as well as in Nigeria and Dubai and claimed that they were the “biggest fish” of them all.
It appears that the CBI would be asked to investigate the cases of 44 companies, who find mention in the lists submitted to the court and which have been noticed in order of March 26 passed by the Supreme Court.
Threats faced by petitioner
Another aspect that the counsel for Mr. Jena pointed out were the threats and intimidation faced by him and his wife from a particular DSP – Pramod K. Panda who is connected with the Crime Branch which was investigating this chit fund case. The counsel specifically mentioned that two DSP’s had travelled to Delhi and while one had sworn the affidavit before the court and assisted Gopal Subramanium the other had intimidated and threatened the Petitioner and his wife.
It was also mentioned by the counsel for the petitioner that according to Orissa Government official documents the said DSP was suspended and an inquiry was pending against him to which the court mentioned that they would consider the submissions of the counsel in this regard.
The final order of the apex court is expected shortly, reliable sources said.