Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kolkata, Oct 28:
Despite clear directions from the Supreme Court, the Odisha government has so far refused to co-operate with Enforcement Directorate (ED), which was directed by the apex court to to complete its investigation in money laundering offences in the operations of the chit fund companies operating in the state expeditiously.
The special director of the ED, Kolkata, Yogesh Gupta in a letter dated September 19, 2014 addressed to the Odisha chief secretary ( a copy of which is in the possession of OST ) had requested the state government to share some crucial documents with regard to the money laundering by the Artha Tatwa Group (AT group).
The letter was duly received by the office of the state chief secretary on 24 September 2014 and the additional chief secretary, Finance on 27 September 2014.
However, the state government not only refused to respond to ED’s request but also ignored the direction of the vice chairman of the Special Investigation Team probing the black money case, Justice Arijit Pasayat to “share all the information relating to the Ponzi cases with Enforcement Directorate, so that investigation into these cases can be completed expeditiously for logical conclusion.”
While the CBI team probing Artha Tatwa Group has been hogging media coverage by chasing minor players, it has shied away from taking on the biggies, at least so far. A senior member of the probe team, who did not want to be named, told OST that although they have been able to expose Artha Tatwa Group’s bigger game plan, the job of probing money laundering by the company rests with the Enforcement Directorate.
If that is the case, there is every reason to smell foul play behind the state government’s refusal to co-operate with the ED and share the “required documents” with it.
The following letter from the special director, ED, Kolkata is not only self explanatory but exposes the claims repeatedly made by the Naveen Patnaik government on its probity, integrity and transparency.
ED’s letter to chief secretary, Odisha :
Special Director ED
Eastern Region, Enforcement Directorate , Kolkata
The Chief Secretary
Government of Odisha
File No SDE/KOL/2014 dated 19.09.2014
The Bhubaneswar sub-zonal office of the Enforcement Directorate is investigating allegations against Artha Tatwa Group of companies under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. It has been informed by the Assistant Directorate of Bhubaneswar Sub-Zonal office that he had requested for the documents relating to the above case to the Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack. However, the documents have not been handed over to us.
2. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its judgement dated 9th May, 2014 in WP.(C) No 413 of 2013 directed that Enforcement Directorate to complete their investigation in Money Laundering Offences in the above case expeditiously. The State Government have also been directed to render full co-operation a& assistance in the investigation by the Enforcement Directorate. Further, in the meeting of SIT held on 24.8.2014 at Cuttack by Vice Chairman, SIT, Hon’ble Justice Shri Arijit Pasayat, directed the State Government to share all the information relating to the Ponzi cases with Enforcement Directorate, so that investigation into these cases can be completed expeditiously for logical conclusion. It had also been decided in the meeting that Chief Secretaries concerned will arrange to provide minimum logistic support to Enforcement Directorate to enable them to carry out their investigation into money laundering offences smoothly and expeditiously.
3. I, therefore, request that the Commissioner of Police Bhubaneswar be directed to provide the required documents in this case. He may also please be directed to provide other logistic support in the form of vehicle, security etc to our Bhubaneswar Sub Zonal office.