Judicial probe into Orissa chit fund scam

Allegations by the Congress and the BJP that the ruling ministers and MLAs of BJD are involved in the Artha Tatwachit fund scam

Written by Debabrata Mohanty | Bhubaneswar | Published: May 31, 2013 2:15 am

Allegations by the Congress and the BJP that the ruling ministers and MLAs of BJD are involved in the Artha Tatwachit fund scam has led Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to order a judicial probe on Thursday.

The probe,to be headed by a sitting judge of Orissa High Court,would look into the involvement of influential persons in protecting fraudulent chit funds. The probe report,to be submitted in three months,will suggest steps to protect genuine investors affected by chit fund scams.

Doubts over the involvement of BJD politicians in chit fund scams surfaced a fortnight ago when the police arrested Pradip Sethi,chief of Artha Tatwa Multi State Cooperative Society. He was charged with duping at least Rs 130 crore from the public.

Sethi had registered the society under Multi State Cooperative Act two years ago. Though the Act bars such organisations from raising money from public,Sethi violated it. Sources said support of ministers is evident as last year Orissa State Cooperative Union gave Sethi the best youth cooperative person award.

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