Gov: ‘Can act if I get something in writing’

This was the first time the Governor reacted to the scam after taking charge of the Raj Bhavan on July 24.

Written by Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay | Kolkata | Updated: September 5, 2014 8:53 am
Closed apartment of footballer Ramirez Barreto in South Kolkata on Wednesday. ( Source: Express photo by Subham Dutta ) Closed apartment of footballer Ramirez Barreto in South Kolkata on Wednesday. ( Source: Express photo by Subham Dutta )

With names of several top Trinamool Congress leaders, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, cropping up in the nearly Rs 2,460-crore Saradha chit fund scam, West Bengal Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi Wednesday said he can take any action only if something is placed before him in writing.

“I have seen the reports in the newspapers but nothing has come up to me in black and white. No agency has come to me. So, I cannot take a call or make a comment in this regard. I will only go by what the files tell me. I will take action on the basis of what is written in the files,” Tripathi said talking to The Indian Express.

This was the first time the Governor reacted to the scam after taking charge of the Raj Bhavan on July 24.

The parallel investigations by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI have put the ruling TMC in a spot. The CBI probe has found that a subsidiary of Saradha Group —- Saradha Tours and Travels —- had entered into a contract with the IRCTC when Mamata was the rail minister. Name of state transport minister Madan Mitra to has cropped as an alleged beneficiary of the Sardha’s ill-gotten money. Another minister, Shyamapada Mukherjee, was recently grilled by the ED.

The Opposition parties, meanwhile, said they will soon meet the Governor regarding the scam. “We will tell him about the whole Saradha scam in which top leaders and ministers of the TMC are involved. We will also tell him about the deteriorating law and order situation and the atrocities meted out to women in the state. We will demand that he take action and rein in this government of which he is the constitutional head,” Adhir Ranjan Chaudhury, Pradesh Congress chief, told The Indian Express.

CPI-M state committee member Rabin Deb echoed Adhir. “We have decided to meet the Governor in this regard. Being the constitutional head, he has a role to play as the image of his government is being tainted,” Deb said.

The BJP, however, said it won’t meet the Governor or seek action against the ministers. “We have full faith in what CBI is doing. We are sure that the top brass of the government will land in the CBI net. We won’t have to tell the Governor about it,” Rahul Sinha, state BJP chief, told The Indian Express.

A joint investigation report of West Bengal Police and Enforcement Directorate (ED), has pegged the Saradha chit fund scam at Rs 2,460 crore with 80 per cent of the depositors’ money still remaining unpaid.

Mamata govt made all-out effort to stop CBI: retd SC judge

Express News Service

Kolkata: Retired Supreme Court Justice and former chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission Ashok Ganguly on Wednesday slammed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her government over the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.

Criticizing Mamata, Ganguly, who has had several tussle with the TMC-ruled government in the past, said, “The IRCTC of Indian Railways tied up with Saradha Tours and Travels in two years of Saradha Group being formed. The then Union railway minister (Mamata), during whose tenure the deal was signed, calls herself epitome of honesty. Railways is a government organization and people still have faith in it. But Saradha used Railway’s logo to sell itself. This is cheating,” Ganguly said. He was speaking at a programme organized by the Chit Fund Sufferer’s Association to create awareness against the “ponzi schemes”.

Ganguly added that the Bengal government is the only government which fought in the Supreme Court against bringing CBI into the investigation in the Saradha scam. “The Bengal government spent crores of public money to stop the CBI. When Assam and Orissa government did not object to the CBI investigation, why did Bengal government made an all-out effort to stop the CBI here,” he asked.

Sharpening his attack, the retired SC judge continued: “What kind of politics is this? First you loot and cheat people. And when there is a call for investigation, you say that it is a conspiracy.”

Ganguly was forced to resign as the WBHRC chief in February this year after a law intern accused him of sexual harassment. Ganguly, however, had said Mamata never “wanted me to continue as the chief” and “made her displeasure very clear when I gave my order in the Ambikesh Mahapatra case”.

Mamata had also written a letter in December 2013 to President Pranab Mukherjee, accusing the retired judge of “engaging himself in paid employment during his term of high office” besides levelling other allegations.

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  1. A
    Sep 5, 2014 at 10:34 am
    The role responsibilities and authority of governor, are not known to most.This decorative post is not found very effective so far. Why Governor must wait for a written complaint when he is seeing many reports in news papers? Why can't he call directly the CM and others concerned and ask the details and find the truth? Why is Opposition parties not lodging complaints to Governor? There is therefore, urgent need to review the need of Governors, and either this post be made real effective, or, better be abolished.
  2. A
    Sep 3, 2014 at 11:20 pm
    Clic case of Red Tape. High Courts & Supreme Courts are taking cognizance on the basis of newspaper reports.
  3. N
    Sep 4, 2014 at 11:36 pm
    The then guvnor of Bihar had recommended dissolution of the Bihar embly mainly on the basis of newspaper clippings etc. This was disputed in the supreme court. The supreme court gave the verdict that the dissolution of the state embly was highly improper based on such weak evidences and hence struck down the guvnor's & President's actions.. That guvnor was subsequently given a very plum ignment. For some months now so many questions/complaints have been raised that all is not well in the judiciary too and so the legal reforms bill has been made. It is also improper , unfair, undesirable to appoint anyone above 70 Yrs as guvnor. The way the former supreme court judge AK Gangulybhai had to go from NHRC Kolkata also left very bad taste in the mouth..One also feels that if a very senior retd. judge had been the guvnor of Delhi, then the MLAs numbers problems would have been solved & definite decision given within a month or two to the President. Unfortunately here also the supreme court had to give instructions. What a sorry state of affairs in some spheres.
  4. P
    Purushottam Namjoshi
    Sep 5, 2014 at 6:31 am
    It is time when courts have to take cognisance where as it is the duty of the government to do. Shame to such democracy.
  5. U
    Sep 5, 2014 at 1:36 pm
    The irony of it lies in the fact that the West bengal government, upon exhortation of the CM, has increased taxes to 'raise money', to be distributed among the depositers of the Saradha chit fund. Clic case of 'kare koi, aur bhare koi'.
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