The CBI will form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) soon to probe the Saradha chit fund scam in which investors in West Bengal, Orissa and Assam were allegedly duped of Rs 10,000 crore. It will also examine the role of market regulators like the SEBI and the RBI.
“We will form the SIT as soon as the legalities in the case are finalised,” CBI Director Ranjit Sinha said here Sunday. The Supreme Court Friday had ordered a CBI probe in response to a PIL and asked the three state police forces to cooperate with the CBI investigation. The CBI will also look into the role of regulators like the SEBI, authorities under the Companies Act and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as directed by the apex court. The court in its order had pointed out that there was yet another aspect which relates to the role of the regulatory authorities.
“Investigation conducted so far puts a question mark on the role of regulatory authorities like the SEBI, the Registrar of Companies and officials of the RBI within whose respective jurisdictions and areas of operation the scam not only took birth but flourished unhindered,” a bench headed by Justice T S Thakur had said in its order.
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The CBI will be collecting documents from all state governments pertaining to the scam which has been termed by the Supreme Court as a “sordid affair”. “Investigation by the state police in a scam that involves thousands of crores collected from the public allegedly because of the patronage of people occupying high positions in the system will hardly carry conviction especially when even the regulators who were expected to prevent or check such a scam appear to have turned a blind eye to what was going on,” the apex court had said.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also looking into money laundering violation by the Saradha Group. The court had said the CBI would probe against Saradha and 44 other companies in Orissa which are allegedly involved in the scam.