Saradha scam: SC seeks Bengal’s response on CBI plea for police support

New Delhi, (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday sought West Bengal government’s response to CBI’s plea for the support of state police in conducting investigations into Saradha and non-Saradha chit fund scam cases coupled with three designated special courts to try these cases.

A bench of Justice T.S.Thakur and Justice C. Nagappan sought the state government’s response after Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told it that CBI needed 10 superintendent of police-rank officers along with their staff for investigating all the cases entrusted to it by the court.

Besides this, Ranjit Kumar, who appeared for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), told the court that all the Saradha and non-Saradha scam cases were scattered all over the state and sought their being clubbed together and tried by three designated special courts.

Appearing for the West Bengal government, senior counsel L. Nageswara Rao told the court that state itself was faced with shortage of police personnel to carry out its law and order duties. He told the court that the state had just 30,000 personnel and this also suffered on account of vacancies.

The court adjourned the hearing till July 27 when Nageswara Rao said that he needed to take instructions from the state government on the CBI plea.

The apex court on May 9, 2014 had handed over the investigation into the Saradha and non-Saradha chit fund scam of about Rs.10,000 crore involving 25 lakh duped depositors, spread over in West Bengal, Odisha, Assam and Tripura.

While handing over the investigation to CBI in the ponzi scam, the court by its May 9 order had said that the larger conspiracy angle in the states of Assam, Odisha and West Bengal although under investigation has not made much headway partly because of the inter-state ramifications, which the state investigating agencies need to examine but are handicapped in examining.

Even during the April 6 hearing of the matter, the CBI had urged the court to modify its May 9 order so that it could leave the investigation of cases involving amount up to Rs.5-6 lakh to the state police.

But the court said they “follow the enormity of the cases but if we leave a large number of cases them will the larger conspiracy stand anywhere and many cases will get diluted”.

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